Yogo's a no-no as 'Waybuloo' is cut from CBeebies bedtime slot

'Starry new line-up' leaves parents unimpressed as children's favourite bites the dust
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The Independent Online

When the Piplings are happy they achieve Buloo and float gently into the air; but scheduling changes to the characters' television show Waybuloo have left some parents feeling anything but Zen.

CBeebies, the BBC's TV channel for younger children, has withdrawn the popular tots' programme from its Bedtime Hour during the summer to make way for a "starry new line-up". The move has frustrated parents who claim that Waybuloo, in which characters practise Yogo, a gentle form of exercise similar to yoga, helps to prepare children for sleep.

A comment thread on the parenting website BabyCentre's community forum about "CBeebies ruining Bedtime Hour" has attracted more than 170 responses. "Moozles" was heartbroken: "It's my favourite time of the day, rolling around on the floor with Meg trying to do the moves."

Commenting on a BBC blog by the CBeebies controller, Kay Benbow, "Fiona" said the show was an "important part of the bedtime routine for many families, including mine" and did "a fantastic job of creating a calm, gentle atmosphere before sleepy time".

Another – "hailes" – pleaded with Ms Benbow not to disrupt their eight-month-old baby's routine. "My daughter has a lung condition and requires aggressive physiotherapy and nebulisers twice a day," the poster wrote. "This is currently scheduled around the time of Waybuloo & ITNG [In The Night Garden]. They are the only programmes that stop her from screaming and crying."

Waybuloo takes place in Nara, home to the four Piplings: Yojojo; Lau Lau; Nok Tok and De Li. When the sun shines on the coloured crystals of the characters' Yogo machine, it makes a beautiful noise.

It was replaced at the end of last month by the animation series Charlie and Lola and 64 Zoo Lane. In The Night Garden and Bedtime Story complete the 6pm to 7pm Bedtime Hour. Waybuloo has moved to 11.15am and 3.10pm slots on weekdays, and 1pm at weekends.

Ms Benbow, who said there would be new episodes of Waybuloo in the autumn, alerted parents to the schedule change in advance through a blog. She pointed out that the show was available at anytime on iPlayer or suggested parents and carers could record shows to watch at 6pm.

Removing Waybuloo from the bedtime slot last year caused members of online forum Netmums to debate whether to petition for its return.

Not all parents are disappointed to see the show move to an earlier time slot. "Jo" commented on Ms Benbow's blog that her three-year-old would not watch Waybuloo and the change might bring the family back to Bedtime Hour. "Reverend61" praised the BBC's variation: "For every child who likes Waybuloo there's another who doesn't."

A spokeswoman for CBeebies said yesterday that the channel had received a "very small handful of complaints" over moving Waybuloo from the Bedtime Hour but that it had tried to rotate the schedule so everyone had the chance to see their favourite show at that time.

Ms Benbow said: "We are always looking at ways to keep our schedule fresh and interesting for our young viewers without causing too much disruption to their routines."