With a toddler around, CBeebies becomes a way of life, and in general it’s fantastic. The schedule is packed with quality kids’ programmes, from Clangers (now narrated by Sir Michael Palin) to Nick Cope’s Popcast (witty, well-crafted songs about unlucky hedgehogs, rusty robots, and rockhopper penguins).
For me, the jewel in the crown is a stop motion New Zealand import: Kiri and Lou. Kiri is a playful, impulsive dinosaur and Lou is her gentle, loyal friend who loves napping and sniffing flowers.
Their prehistoric playground is essentially the New Zealand bush, with its towering trees, tangled vines, and dense ferns seemingly constructed from dozens of layers of paper, and the wonderfully lumpy clay characters animated on top.
Each episode is a simple 5-minute story, and often involves our heroes meeting and befriending another creature, or resolving some tiny disagreement. They also all feature a fun musical number by Harry Sinclair and Don McGlashan, intricately arranged and seamlessly blended into the jungle soundscape. Those songs have withstood many repeat viewings, many hours rattling around our brains, and many kitchen table performances!
Check out this amazing sand sculpture by In Good Form, created in New Brighton back in July, and see if you can spot your favourite Kiri and Lou creature.
Things that helped is my series of posts about the stuff that kept me going in 2020.