Sunday, July 23, 2006

CBeebies – Graham Norton will tell you a story (and a tip for Monaghan)

We were down in Monaghan for the weekend. There are two ways (maybe more) of lifting our nineteen-month old daughter out of a grouchy mood: a trip to a play park for a swing, and a quick pre-bedtime treat from BBC’s CBeebies (channel 71 on Freeview).

For the first, I can recommend Holywood Lake and Park about 7km north west of Monaghan town. The play park is nothing to get excited about—Smithboro village far exceeds in terms of equipment—but the view is great. A lake clean enough for the locals to swim in it (it includes a walled off “beginners” area). A lot of recent work has enhanced the park—toilets, weeding the lake— and more improvements are planned.

The second proved impossible to fulfil. The Irish Sky Service doesn’t include any BBC channels other than BBC 1 and 2 Northern Ireland—presumably due to the lack of a contribution towards the licence fee—so no CBeebies on offer.

Oh how we missed it.

Tonight I had nearly dozed off on the sofa when a vision of Graham Norton appeared on screen, reminding little people that he’d be reading them a bedside story on CBeebes later on.

Has his exclusive contract with the BBC really amounted to Strictly Dance Fever and the modern Jackanory?

A quick Google suggests that Graham Norton and Sophie Raworth are reading the 6.50pm stories all week.

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