Row over Peppa raises the bigger issue of TV habits

NOT EVIL Peppa Pig stands accused of being a bad influence
NOT EVIL Peppa Pig stands accused of being a bad influence

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It’s got to be acknowledged that I spent rather a lot of time watching Bagpuss as a child.

But I don’t think a grumpy puppet cat is really to blame for my less than sunny nature.

Although it would be handy to point to Bagpuss and say: ‘It’s his fault I don’t much feel like talking to you today’, I doubt anyone would let me get away with it.

So with that in mind, it’s worth sparing a thought for Peppa Pig and her porky family.

While Hugh Grant has the Leveson Inquiry to fight his battles for him, poor old Peppa has been slandered most unfairly with no recourse for legal action, or amend-making apologies.

Those naggy whiners over at parenting website Mumsnet have been threatening to boycott this particular cartoon because they fear it teaches their children naughty habits.

For some unknown reason, Peppa’s love for jumping in puddles has been highlighted as an example of bad behaviour.

Funny that, because I thought it was just called being a typical child.

It’s also fairly normal for kids to turn their noses up at vegetables, whether they’ve seen Peppa’s brother George do it or not.

Of course, most reasonable parents will approach this issue with a good dose of common sense and work out that Peppa’s not the anti-Christ for themselves.

But that doesn’t stop a hoo-ha like this from re-occurring every couple of years.

I remember the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles taking the blame for a spate of martial art-inspired playground spats in the mid-1990s.

Although most mums and dads appear to be able to turn a blind eye to the fact that Barbie gives little girls a very skewed view on body image.

If parents really think these cartoons have the power to influence a toddlers’ behaviour so much, why don’t they divert their attention to tackling how much exposure their child actually has to the goggle-box?

No-one could believe that an occasional encounter with Peppa or Bagpuss – no matter how undesirable the behaviour or bad the manners – has the power to corrupt otherwise innocent minds.