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The Wombles at Radio 2

It’s often been said that the modern world encourages adults to behave as if they are still children: playing video games, collecting comics, watching astonishing television science-fiction shows, worrying about the fate of the Star Wars films…

But one thing you should never do, as a grown-up involved in an endeavour which is primarily aimed at children – even one which has been around long enough that your followers have grown up to have children of their own – is act as if everyone knows how you do it.

So, when the Wombles – eco-friendly ’70s children’s characters who mysteriously became pop stars: it was a weird time – appeared on a Christmas show for BBC Radio 2’s Simon Mayo, in which their appearance was being streamed live on a webcam, the very last thing their creator Mike Batt should have done is take his Womble head off.

Shortly after completing this performance, that’s exactly what he did, much to the horror of any child who happened to be enjoying the fun. And if that doesn’t sound like a big deal to you, imagine if Barney did the same thing, or a Teletubby, or Kermit the frog’s appearance on a TV chat show was ruined by a sudden appearance of the hand inside his head.

As soon as it became clear what had happened, Mike rushed to Twitter to say “Oh no – they told us we were off air!!!!”

But a BBC spokesperson has refuted this, after receiving complaints from parents, saying “the group were fully aware that they were being filmed and had not been given the all clear that they were off air.”

So, a lesson in not breaking character for all of you mall Santas out there.

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Filed Under: The Wombles
By Fraser McAlpine