Mr Blobby bounces back as Christmas No 1

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The Independent Online
THE writing may be on the wall for Santa Claus. Last night, Mr Blobby was back at the top of the singles charts, ensuring that his record will be the Christmas No 1.

Fans call him a lovable character for all the family. Critics dismiss Blobbymania as a marketing ploy. Cultural commentators have described him as Britain's first post-modernist pop star. He certainly saw off the pop heart-throbs Take That, who had relieved him of the No 1 slot for one week.

Whatever the truth, the Blobby phenomenon has generated huge sums of money and publicity for the BBC and Noel Edmonds, whose programme, Noel's House Party, first launched the character.

According to the bookmakers William Hill, Edmonds stands to gain an added bonus after placing a four-figure wager that Mr Blobby would top the Christmas chart. William Hill says it has lost a total of pounds 100,000 to punters.

The character was first used as an accessory by Edmonds in televised pranks with showbusiness stars, but then took on a life of his own.

Unable to dig up anything untoward in Mr Blobby's private life, the press decided to concentrate on the man inside the costume. Far from eating pink blancmange covered in yellow spots of custard, as Edmonds had maintained, it turned out that Mr Blobby was really Barry Killerby, a Shakespearian actor who could invest the character's catchphrase 'Blobby, Blobby, Blobby' with just the right intonation.

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