In Praise Of Abney And Teal

G has long been a fan of In The Night Garden, the colourful pre-bedtime programme which soothes toddlers across the nation on CBeebies. But there's no doubt that her favourite thing to watch on TV is now The Adventures of Abney and Teal. It's on just before the CBeebies Bedtime Hour, although since she worked out that On Demand viewing means you can get it anytime, even on your phone, it's almost always the only thing G ever wants to watch.

I can't really complain too much about this. The two eponymous characters are friends who live on an island in the middle of a city, and get up to various mini-adventures often involving discarded bits of rubbish, all fuelled by regular bowls of porridge. Created by illustrator and author Joel Stewart, Abney and Teal has a sort of instant classic feel about it, a bit like the programmes (Bagpuss, Clangers) once made by the late Oliver Postgate. I imagine it's the sort of thing second-rate comedians might well find themselves pretending to remember on a clip show in about 20 years' time.

Apart from looking and sounding great, the thing I like most about it is that the female character, Teal (curiously enough, voiced by the singer from Noisettes), is resourceful and rough-and-tumble, rather than the sort of pink Disney Princess I've been trying to make sure G doesn't turn into.

The picture shows G tackling this month's CBeebies magazine, which is an Abney and Teal special. She was beyond excited when Mrs J came home from the supermarket with it the other day. Not quite excited enough to be interested in having a bowl of healthy porridge for breakfast herself, but there's time to work on that.