Entertainment history is full of characters given names to describe or embarrass themselves. One of the earlists I can recall is that of Mrs Malaprop from the eighteenth century Sheridan play, The Rivals. More up to date is an urban legend, which says sexually suggestive names such as Master Bates (masturbates), Seaman Staines (semen stains), and Roger the Cabin Boy (meaning to have sex with) were given to characters from 50s childrens cartoon pirate, Captain Pugwash. There is also The Goon Show (50s and 60s) and a myriad of documented characters ascribed with double entendresque names such as Private Parts and Hugh Jampton. Now fast forward 40 years to the politically correct days of new, The 2000s or The Norties, where nothing incorrect may be said about anyone or anything.
Then we have The BBC cbeebies channel and 'In The Night Garden', stablemate of 'Balamory'.
Characters include Igglepiggle, Upsy Daisy, Makka Pakka, The three Tombliboos, The Pontipines (red) and Wottingers (blue), The Haahoos, The Tittifers, The Ninky Nonk and The Pinky Ponk. The target audience is aged 1 to 6.
All innocent it seems, until the target audience, who are at differing stages of learning to speak, start to say the character's names. Then there's uproar as at least three of these innocently sounding characters more often than not are said sounding like racist slurs by the eager toddlers. As we hear them say words banned on Television, we have to stifle our laughs. such obscenities from children so young, unwittingly spoken, and repeated after they see us smile.
Surely The BBC has received complaints about this? Or the race relations board? Or perhaps there is just some high ranking executive is sitting at the desk of a highly paid perk filled job, chuckling like we did as youngsters listening to Bloodnock.