The time has come to say goodnight…

Danger Mouse (TV series)

Danger Mouse (TV series) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Entertainment on an aeroplane has come a long way since the first time I flew, but even so, it’s amazing how many times I find myself flicking through umpteen channels struggling to find something to watch. I try the documentaries first, but they are usually ones I’ve seen before. I then try the movies, but often find nothing I fancy. My secret is that I then turn to the children’s programs.

I was pleasantly surprised to find an episode of “In the Night Garden” on one particular flight. The guy sat next door to me looked at my strangely, so I leaned over and told him “This is the one where Iggle Piggle gets in Upsy Daisy’s bed”. Strangely enough, he didn’t speak to me for the rest of the flight.

When we were growing up, there was a fraction of the children’s TV programs that there are today. There were only a few channels and the schedulers of the day squeezed the entertainment for the young between the chat shows of the afternoon and the news at six. It was formulaic at best, typically starting with something for younger children, followed by a cartoon, then maybe some drama and rounded off by John Craven’s Newsround – a kind of round-up of the news for youngsters.

If you want to make yourself feel really old, change the office wi-fi password to the name of your favourite children’s program from your youth and then despair at how many people are too young to remember it. I couldn’t believe hoe many people in our office hadn’t heard of Grange Hill, a kind of school based soap opera – required viewing for any school child in my younger years.

Despite the limited viewing, there were some classics. Dangermouse was my favourite cartoon – and I loved his faithful sidekick Penfold who was forever coming out with “Crikey!”, “Crumbs!” or something similar. Jackanory was an unlikely formula. A star-studded cast read out children’s stories. If you haven’t heard a scary story narrated by Tom Baker – you haven’t lived.

These days, there are umpteen channels dedicated to children’s TV day and night. Nickelodeon, Nick Junior, Cbeebies, the Disney Channel are just a few of the stations on offer. In case you missed something, most of them have a +1 channel too. Not only that, but children can catch up on iPlayer. And if that weren’t enough, most programs are also available on YouTube. It’s a wonder that kids get any homework done these days.

If I get the opportunity, I like to watch the bedtime hour on Cbeebies with Maisie. It’s worth watching if only for the song that finishes it off;

The time has come to say goodnight,
To say sleep tight, ’til the morning light.
The time has come to say goodnight
at the end of  a lovely day.

We’ve had so much fun today.
Tomorrow’s just a dream away.
The time has come to say goodnight
at the end of a lovely day.