BBC pre-school series Waybuloo has dropped Come Dine with Me’s Dave Lamb as its narrator following complaints on the show’s blog that his voiceovers were “horrendous”, “sarcastic” and even “aggressive”.
The CBeebies programme, featuring the chilled-out yoga-practising Piplings, reverted to its original commentary-free format after concerned parents claimed that Lamb – known for his acerbic put-downs on Channel 4’s competitive cookery show – had frightened their toddlers, even reducing some to tears.
“The narration seemed quite aggressive almost as if he was mocking the characters,” said one user, sproutlesmum.
“The added narration is inane prattle. We had to switch off. It has ruined a lovely calming program,” complained Nix.
“The voice-over is totally unecessary and has spoiled what was an enchanting programme… it just sounds like a sarcastic running commentary,” wrote Emma.
“This just sounds like man in a studio shouting over a video,” said MimiFLD.
Other parents attempted to interpret the reactions of toddlers too young to express themselves verbally.
“While the narrator has excellent credentials he sounds quite condescending to the characters, sorry to say but my daughters look of horror at this said it all,” reported HanSneffs.
“Whilst I appreciate Dave Lamb is great on ‘Come Dine with Me’ I feel his narration just doesnt work,” said Thomasmummy. “My little boy (18months) loves Waybuloo but tonight he stood behind the chair and watched from a distance.”
“Dont think my daughter was too sure about the new idea for waybuloo. She cried everytime the narrator spoke,” wrote a concerned chary13490.
A CBeebies statement posted on the blog reassured parents that Lamb’s narration, and other format changes, had been canned.
“Thanks for all your comments – it’s great to see how passionate you are about the show,” it said.
“We’ve listened to all your feedback and have decided to revert to the original format for the show…”
At the time of writing, the revamped Waybuloo is still available via BBC iPlayer.