10 most irritating television characters

Run for the hills – Mr Blobby is making a comeback. But is he really the worst of a very bad bunch?


Mr Blobby

Was there something in the water? Did the nation really once fall about laughing at the clumsy antics of a bloke in a big pink rubber costume with yellow blobs all over it?

Yes. Bizarrely, Noel Edmonds's daft sidekick was so popular his single bumped Take That off the top of the charts in 1993. (And has since been voted the most annoying Christmas number one ever.)

Superstardom didn't last long: the Blobster was severely embarrassed when a theme park built in his honour closed down in 1994, after only three months. Comeback attempts included several by-elections.

Talent: Falling over.

Catchphrase: "Blobby." He never used any other words.

Where is he now? About to co-star in 'Noel's House Party' again, if reports yesterday are true. The BBC is said to be keen on remaking a show that once had 16 mIllion viewers.

A spokesman for Mr Blobby said: "Blobby."

Pudsey Bear

It's not the tear-jerking film clips in the way of the comedy that are the most irritating thing about 'Children in Need'. It's not the smug performers who could raise millions by emptying their pockets. No, it's the too-cute teddy who's worn that flaming bandage over his eye since 1986.

Talent: None.

Catchprase: None.

Where is he now? On a bender with a weathergirl.

Barney

Makes sleep-deprived parents scream. Since 1992, the friendly purple dinosaur has been relentless in his cheerful singing and dancing, and his marketing hypnotising pre-school girls and boys, while emptying the wallets of mummies and daddies.

Talent: Ripping heads off little children, as a T Rex. But they never show that side of him, do they?

Catchphrase: "I love you."

Where is he now? Everywhere.

Scrappy Doo

It was one of the great cartoons, led by a cowardly Great Dane called Scooby. Then Hanna-Barbera inserted a "cute"" sidekick, a yappy little brat of a nephew. Grrr.

Talent: Getting in the way.

Catchphrase: "Lemme at 'em."

Where is he now? The kennel in the sky. He was put down.

Tinky Winky

Why him? Why not Dipsy, La La or Po, who are also annoying? Because he isn't gay. Some US church leaders were upset he might be, but the BBC bottled out, saying, "Tinky Winky is simply a sweet baby with a magic bag." Shame.

Talent: Upsetting American evangelicals.

Catchphrase: "Eh-oh."

Where is he now? Time for Tubby Bye Bye .... Try G.A.Y.

The Diddy Men

Children of the Sixties will remember short folk in big hats who danced with Ken Dodd. Children of any other age will say, "Mummy, I'm scared."

Talent: Working in the Jam Butty Mines.

Catchphrase: "We come from Knotty Ash."

Where are they now? When the mines closed, the heart was ripped out of the community.

Emu

Yes, it was funny when the bird pulled Michael Parkinson off his chair in 1976. Yes, we could almost believe his protesting "handler" Rod Hull had nothing to do with it. But then he did it on other shows, again and again and again.

Talent: Violence.

Catchphrase: Silence. Where is he now? On CITV with Toby Hull, son of Rod.

Roland Rat

Self-styled rodent superstar who talked in a Rada version of cockney and asked mildly cheeky questions. Saved the ailing TV-am in 1983, then made a big money move to the BBC. Not much since, because he isn't funny. If Roland were half as good as he thinks he is, he'd be Gordon the Gopher.

Talent: Er... eating cheese?

Catchphrase: "Yeeeaaah."

Where is he now? LA sewers.

Orville

"I wish I could fly," sang a bright green duckling in a nappy on the lap of Keith Harris in 1982. Half the nation wished it could buy him an airline ticket. One way. His TV show lasted eight more years, but Orville still performs.

Talent: Simpering. Catchphrase: "I can't."

Where is he now? Just finished another panto.

Noel Edmonds

The others are products of the imagination, but it seems just as unreal that the BBC may bring this small, furry creature back to Saturday teatimes. Was it lame jokes, weak stunts or the hideously chipper host that got 'Noel's House Party' axed in 1999?

Talent: Skilful comebacks. Catchphrase: See below. Where is he now? Asking, "Deal or no deal?"

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