Becoming a parent is full of first times. The first time you realise poo can be projectile, the first time you pull an all nighter without alcohol or glow sticks and the first time you experience the mind-bending and slightly terrifying world of children’s television.
More than likely the first programme you’ll be exposed to as a new parent will be ‘In the Night Garden’, and, wow, what an introduction it is.
Image courtesy of go.sky.com
Narrated by actual thespian, Derek Jacobi, it’s probably one of the trippiest shows on CBeebies. You’ll be faced with hypnotic, blossoming flowers, a raft of semi-mute and colourful characters with questionable names and, as this post will explore, even more questionable personality traits.
There’s singing, dancing, a touch of incest and more drama than your average Friday night in Walford.
So who’s who? And more importantly, what the hell is going on?
To help you on your path to enlightenment, here are all the need to know facts:
He’s the main man. Big, blue and has an unnatural obsession with a red blanket.
Every episode starts with him in a little sail boat, floating along in the ocean. No one knows why this blue, fleecy man, who can only communicate by squeaks, has been damned to a life of sea-based solitude. Is he in pre-school entertainment purgatory? Is he a Somalian pirate? Has he been banished to the brine for some abhorrent crime against humanity? Perhaps he’s in cahoots with the Man on the Moon from the John Lewis advert? Who knows…
WHAT DID YOU DO?
His only form of escapism is to visit some trippy garden which, unlike the name suggests, is bathed in bright sunlight. Confusing much?
Whether it’s his own personal hell, or he’s taken some LSD to pass his time in exhile, we’ll never really know but you have to admit that it’s strangely captivating and the kids go nuts for it.
Loves dancing, kissing and lifting her skirt up every five minutes – also fallsies down and getsies up, then fallsies down again – a lot. I know what you’re thinking…Have you seen her on Geordie Shore? Quite possibly. She does carry a bed round with her at all times, you just never know when an opportunity will present itself…
Image courtesy of go.sky.com / Imgflip.com
Totally in love with Iggle, she throws herself at him at every opportunity. She seriously needs a friend intervention to awaken her to the fact it’s a relationship that can’t go anywhere, due his aforementioned exile issues. Even if, by some paranormal anomaly, she went to live on the boat with him she’d have fallen overboard within 20 minutes, or he’d have beaten her to death with a paddle because of her incessant whining for a chicken kebab.
Could do with laying off the shots (would help her stay on her feet a little more), that said, she does a mean slut drop.
You can find her tweeting about her latest lycra fashion collection on @UpsyDaisyGShore.
A hobbit with Stewie Griffin’s head, if Stewie Griffin’s head sprouted three, small, circumcised penises.
Likes collecting stones, giving stones as gifts, cuddling stones and sleeping on stones. He has a stone thing.
So stoned right now.
A pro trumpet player, he pushes around a little cart like a homeless crack addict and is insistent on washing people’s faces with a dirty sponge. I don’t know why. Crack does strange things to people. #prayformakkapakka
That little junkie has a good song though and your little ones will clap along to it with glee. You’ll be humming it for days.
Three of them, potentially incestuous siblings. They kiss a lot, their trousers fall down more times than I imagine is socially acceptable and they have an unnatural obsession with brushing their teeth (got to keep minty fresh for all the kissing, right?).
Incontinent too – those pesky trousers are always hanging up on the washing line. Nice.
Super noisy with zero musical prowess, they live in a topiary hedge built of Curly Wurleys and pretzels – you’ll be craving chocolaty, salty snacks for hours after. Yum.
Image courtesy of go.sky.com
Somebody call social services immediately. These tiny and inept parents, who breed like rabbits, lose their children in every single episode they appear in. It’s not like it’s just the one either, they have eight offspring they regulalry manage to misplace.
“I can’t help but feel like I’ve forgotten something…KEVIN!!!” (Image courtesy of OrchardShowsUS)
No one really likes the Pontipines, on account of their poor parenting skills. Find a new episode on the iPlayer – I recommend ‘Igglepiggle’s Mucky Patch’ or ‘Igglepiggle’s Tiddle’…
Blue versions of their neighbours, the Pontipines. Also have eight children. Quite possibly engaged in some kind of wife swap scenario with their friends. Not even bothering with a photo – see above, but a different colour.
Colourful birds that hang around in the trees, and I imagine are responsible for littering the garden with those giant Swizzels Matlow rainbow droppings.
Image courtesy of LazerHorse
They sing a little song and everyone goes to bed, apart from Iggle – he’s a rebellious little so and so. ‘Somebody’s not in bed…Igglepiggle’s not in bed.’ Shock. He’s probably waiting until everyone’s asleep so he can rob them blind and steal some Pontipine children (let’s face it, it’s not like their parents would notice).
An Nazi airship crossed with a Blackpool fun bus. With a pissed pilot at its helm, it’s an aerophobic’s worst nightmare – ricocheting from tree to tree it even has its own ‘ponk alert’ to notify passengers of certain death.
Images courtesy of go.sky.com
On the plus, it does serve in-flight drinks in the form of ‘Pinky Ponk Juice’ – which I can only imagine is a panic quashing cocktail of vodka and diazepam.
Image courtesy of go.sky.com
The rail replacement for when the Pinky Ponk is being doused in fire extinguishing foam. This alternative, but not any safer, mode of transport can travel up trees, along branches and even goes upside – perfect for settling the nerves of the traumatised Pinky Ponk passengers. Go Easy Jet people.
It’s a pretty fair assumption that walking seems the best option for most inhabitants of the Night Garden.
Really not sure… Five escapee bouncy castles, who lurk ominously in the peripheries. Fat, slow and lazy – they are generally just passing through, probably on their way to the Night Garden’s closest Maccy Ds. They don’t really get their own episodes, on account of their short life expectancy. Don’t worry yourself too much about them.
“We’re not fat, we have a thyroid problem...”
So there you have it. A run down of all the major players. You can now sit back, relax and really get the most out of your early evening television experience…
Not only will it turn your normally hyper kiddies into lovely, calm zombies – it’s also strangely relaxing for adults too. Last week I found myself completely absorbed by it only for my husband walk in and say, “Why are you sat on your own watching Night Garden? Where are the kids?” We then discovered they’d got bored half way through and had gone off to lick the dog and put our collection of Apple devices down the toilet.
What? Don’t you go comparing me to Mrs Pontipine – they were totally still inside the house, that time…
I think that’s about it. Night, night everyone. Sweet dreams…
WHAT DID YOU DO?