VOTE: Which bizarre CBBC show was categorically the weirdest?
The nostalgia is too much
Remember days where the only possible stresses in life would be doing well in your SATs, ensuring your packed lunch didn’t get gobbled by your siblings and coming home with a clean uniform? Or going into school dressed as your favourite book character and receiving your vouchers to go and have a look around the Scholastic book fair that had been set up? Primary school was an absolute blast, but do you know what was the real treat? Coming back home to watch the weirdest shows on CBBC.
This was quite clearly the heyday for British TV. Whether it was Ed and Oucho joking about Hitler, or Dick n Dom pratting about to such a degree that they were removed from CBBC, TV was so much simpler and so much WEIRDER back then. But which was the weirdest show about? Brace yourself – we’re going to unlock a lot of memories you forgot you had. Let’s get nostalgic:
Let’s lay it out straight. A load of kids shut inside a big tower, working their way to the bottom. The weird caretaker with the brown flappy leather hat that can only be freed if he traps the majority of them in there forever. The weird purple mouthed saboteur! Everything about this show was all kinds of fucked up.
Yvon of the Yukon
An absolute classic.
It’s hard to remember any of the characters or what exactly the plot is, but there are vague memories of a teenager that he spent time with, a French monarch and, of course, the opening animation where he gets pecked by those vultures. Either way, this show was an absolute treat when Dick n Dom put it on and is very worthy of claiming the top spot as weirdest show.
If you skipped over that video, not thinking the title rang a bell, go back and click play. As soon as you hear “I’m Maggot, I’m Fungus” you’ll know exactly the show in question. I mean, in the general scheme of things this isn’t as weird as they come, especially as Hotel Transylvania is pretty much the same thing, but you can’t deny that there have been more normal things on our screens.
For those that don’t remember, Chute was like a child-friendly RudeTube, and its whole appeal was its weirdness. Skinny Ross finds videotapes thrown down the rubbish chute at the BBC, and plays them in his VHS player. Stupid videos, weird hijinks, and even guest appearances such as Raven, this show had everything.
What. A. Bop.
Jakers! is one of those shows that was likely an export, and judging by the view count on the above video, was likely taken to several other countries. What’s not multicultural about an Irish talking pig? It was like some sort of weird fever dream watching Pigglywinks and his two farmyard friends gallivanting around the countryside. Didn’t they have a classroom on the site where they’d have lessons and shit? Terrifying.
Although presenting itself as high tech and futuristic back then, this show was and always will be really shit.
Lame graphics, kids who have to react to what we assume is essentially a green screen with Zooks that are superimposed afterwards – this show is all kinds of tragic. No cap tho, we all made our own Zooks in the free software.
Watch My Chops
I can talk, read and wriiiiiiiite 🎶
What’s weird about an American bloke who owns a talking dog from Yorkshire? Quite a lot, as it happens. Bernie’s mouth is more akin to some sort of prolapse than anything coming close to resembling lips, but that’s a whole different conversation.
Hider in the House
This is how it goes: Kids hide a Z list in their house for a weekend. Usually, it’s your mum’s favourite 90’s gardener or that person that was probably in Corrie – maybe? If they’re successful then they win a wheelbarrow full of prizes. Were the celebs actually in their house? Probably not. Was it fun anyway? Absolutely.
Best of Friends
Back when the ultimate prize you could ever hope to win was a limo ride to that hall in Swindon for a round of bowling, Abs and Rani came in clutch to put friendship groups across the land to the test. The whole blue tongue thing was a completely bizarre and somewhat unnecessary way of picking who got the treats, but there’s a thrill when it comes to pitting a load of mates against each other to prove their friendship and causing arguments. x
Bear Behaving Badly
Mr Angry Pants has nothing better to do than chat breeze to a blue bear puppet, and that’s on my fervent admiration for Nev the bear as an important staple of our childhoods. Nev the Bear OBE, if you will.
The weird catchphrases “n n n no” and “no way hosay” quickly dispel any air of normality, and Nev can’t even run away from Mr Angry Pants because there’s a man with his hand stuffed up his arse laid beneath that sofa. Onwards.
One day a talking book tells you that you must put your life in danger to fight a dangerous enemy that you had no prior knowledge of before you met said talking book – wyd?
This must have been the singular show that caused the biggest of sighs across the UK from every schoolchild when there was nothing else on to watch. Very much a last resort of the CBBC schedule, there was nothing worse than sitting down with your snack and having to endure half an hour of Hacker the dog and his annoying non-verbal utterances.
Little Howard’s Big Question
Scratch the previous point. Fuck Little Howard. Seriously.
This must have been the definitive moment that the tide started to turn for CBBC. Was there anything funny about this show? What was the obsession of having characters with sidekicks that were either puppets or animated? Watch a couple of seconds and move on, it’s well worthy of being voted the worst, if not the weirdest of the BBC’s offerings.
Baby Dick n Dom worked out so well, right?! WRONG.
It must be a musical genre in itself to make music that sounds exactly like the theme tune for Dick n Dom, but every show during this period seemed to adopt the same sound.
Everything about The Slammer is actually top tier, but you’ve got to admit that the whole concept is pretty bizarre from the offset. Prisoners doing entertainment acts to get released from prison? Just imagine if the person who murdered your parents was released for doing a dance act in front of an audience of children? Depends how sick and #rad it is, I guess.
There are endless words for how bizarre this show is, but the Wikipedia entry sums it up perfectly:
“Using the power of the Thirteenth Note, a mystical musical energy source, they take part in musical battles against antagonist band Mantyz in order to keep their home city of Los Bosmos safe from the evil Sonic Lord known as Vox and the money-making schemes of Mya De Zya, the head of ComaCo, a record label and corporation who produce manufactured ‘prepsi’ musical acts.”
The inclusion of Frankenstein’s Cat is more in the name of pointless nostalgia as, by this point, the CBBC producers were supposedly giving any concept the green light: “You’ve heard of Frankenstein, but wait until you see what we’ve got in store for you!”
Fuck, I’m surprised there wasn’t a show where they’d get dads to dress up like Miss Doubtfire and infiltrate their own family home for a weekend.
Ah. What could possibly be weird about having a dad dressed up as an old lady and coming into your house? See the above to find out.
And finally comes Rio Wellard’s next big acting credit post-Beaker – Young Dracula, and oh what a show it was.
Of all the depictions of Dracula that have been met with critical acclaim, this mf gets nothing despite the perfectly written, strained relationship between vampire father and vampire son? Haunting, beautiful, and hopefully available on iPlayer imminently.
So which was the weirdest show on our screens as kids? Vote below: