Monday, 20 July 2015

Round The Corner Not Far Away...Mumsnet Hackney meets Bing Creator Ted Dewan

This isn’t the first time that Mumsnet Hackney has had the pleasure of blogging about the light-hearted, charming CBeebies TV series ‘The Adventures of Bing’. Why the repetition of subject matter? Well this weekend we received a very special invite to attend Toddler Time at Hackney Picture House as they were due to be joined by an important guest, none other than writer and creator of Bing, Ted Dewan. 

We’ve often wondered how exactly Bing bunny came about. Quite honestly we’d always thought there was a crack team of child psychologists behind this gentle story following Bing Bunny's endearing escapades with the occasional profound message thrown in for good measure. So to meet the softly spoken Ted who told us how Bing started as a book series, published in 2003, that he wrote for his daughter, who’s now 16, we felt a little embarrassed we hadn’t done our homework.

We then took our seats to hear Ted read one of the books aloud to entranced audience before tackling some tough and pressing questions: first and foremost, what is Flop? The answer is believe it or not, he’s well, a Flop. Nothing more and bearing no resemblance to any particular animal and the only entity Ted likened him to, was an upside down exclamation mark. However, appearance aside who is Bing’s patient petite guardian who never loses his temper and has sage-like knowledge when it comes to solving preschooler conundrums? Despite his parent-like manner he is never referred to as Daddy. Ted explained that Flop is essentially like Bing’s daemon, a conscience personified if you will, a captivating little detail that makes us even fonder of our favourite little bunny.  

The tail lights of a Valient that inspired Bing's ears
We were then given a quick lesson in how to draw Bing. We were delighted to hear how Bing’s ears are based on the tail lights of a Valient, a vintage car once owned by Ted and once you’ve drawn these the rest of his image falls beautifully into place (we should know as we have been robotically practising these on the insistence of our kids ever since). After then watching 4 back-to-back episodes of Bing, with our youngest screaming ‘another Bing, yaaaaaay’ wildly in between each episode, we took a moment to catch up with Ted afterwards as we still had another pressing question. Having noticed one of the original book’s titles is ‘Something for Daddy’ we wanted to know why no parents appear in the TV show. Ted told us how, actually thinking about it, toddlers rule the world, so having parents would have seemed too big and controlling in comparison. So it was agreed that in the TV show, which Ted worked on with Montessori advisors, parents would not be making an appearance.  

Ted also had an incredible selection of homemade Bing characters and on hearing Mumsnet told us about a heartbreaking talk thread about the disgraceful theft of a homemade Bing bunny (here for your reference and some of the language in response is rather colourful, although perfectly justified in our book). Ted assured us that this tale had a happy ending as they managed to  supply one of the new Bing bunny toys to the little boy who tragically had his stolen. 

However, the most important point that we feel must be shared was one particular message imparted by Ted, how that it’s easy to forget when you’re in the midst of parenting preschoolers, perhaps you’ve failed to negotiate the supermarket or perhaps you day started at 4.37am but these things aside - there is only word to describe these early years with your children - golden.

Toddler Time is a brilliant event that takes place at Hackney Picture House every Tuesday and Saturday and is just £3 per child and adults go free (how refreshing)

Mumsnet Hackney received a complimentary ticket to this event in exchange for an honest review.

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