A couple of weeks ago I wrote a piece for Parentdish on whether parents ban their kids from watching any programmes designed for children. The post (and tweets about it) generated a large response and a wide range of programmes, from Horrid Henry (disrespect to elders) to Waybuloo (all new-agey and crystally).
This got me thinking about any TV shows I was banned from watching as a child. Two come to mind instantly: Byker Grove and Grange Hill. My parents thought that they were too old for me, that I should be sheltered from a world of rowdy Geordies and drug use.
Just an aside, whilst we’re on the subject of drugs. One day, whilst at university, I entered a classroom and sat at the back (I’m cool, see). After a few minutes a handful of people came to sit by me. One of them, a slim Indian fellow, turned to me and asked, ‘Do you want some hash?’
I must have been daydreaming, because I thought he said, ‘Hi, my name is Amhash,’ and so I promptly stuck out my hand and said ‘Hello, my name is Ben.’ The look of confusion on his face has stuck with me ever since.
Anyway, we digress. Byker Grove and Grange Hill, two programmes which I was forbidden to watch. My wife was also banned from watching these shows: however, she was allowed to watch Return to Oz, an unofficial sequel to The Wizard of Oz.
I’ve not seen this film, but from what Jess has told me – and the clips I’ve found on YouTube – there are scenes in Return to Oz which are infinitely more terrifying that anything Byker Grove or Grange Hill ever had to offer.
Take the Wheelers, for example. After watching this I have developed a terrible phobia of prams.
And if that’s not scary enough, how about a huge room filled with dismembered heads?
There was a point to this post, but I’ve forgotten it. Please excuse me whilst I bleach my eyeballs and cry into my pillow.