Anorak News | Sheep & Cheerful

Sheep & Cheerful

by | 5th, April 2006

‘AL-Jazeera’s line up features Osama bin Laden, beheadings, David Frost and now The Baas, a Welsh language children’s series.

He keeps looking at my eyes

Of course, what with this being al-Jazeera – the broadcaster with the aim of “allowing everyone to express their opinion freely, encouraging debates, viewpoints and counter viewpoints” (source: Al Jazeera website) – before broadcast the Baaas’ scripts need to be checked for anti-Islamic subtexts.

Is Costas, the head of the Baaas’ household, a Greek who collects items discarded by other people and turns them into gadgets, out to destabilise the Arab world?

Is Baalwen, Costas’s wife, a black Welsh mountain sheep, really an Ethiopian Falasha in the pay of the Israelis?

The couple live with their daughter, Meegan, and her twins, Jaason and Meedea, together with Meegan’s partner, Meelvyn. Can any of them be trusted?

Sheep are by nature easily led, and one rogue element could lead the others to disaster.

And let us not overlook the inherent perils of translating the Welsh-language into Arabic.

As Nia Ceidiog, the show’s creator, says, there is often a hidden message. “I’m hoping there will be some adults sitting on the sofa at 6 o’clock in the morning with their two-year old child watching an episode for the 10th time who will suddenly see the joke!” says she.

Depends on whom the joke is on. Costas singing in the manner of a woolly Demis Roussos is funny; Meelvyn stacking hay bails into two towers is not.

The censors may well find nothing amiss, and The Baaas will go on to be famous throughout the Middle East, vying for children’s affections with Fireman Sam, which is also to be translated into Arabic – but not that bit where Sam turns to Station Officer Steele and mentions the fires of hell and how Bella Lasagne at Ridoli’s Cafe deserves everything she gets.’

Posted: 5th, April 2006 | In: Celebrities Comment | TrackBack | Permalink