Why I Love Hey Duggee : Changing Perceptions

      19 Comments on Why I Love Hey Duggee : Changing Perceptions

I was busy watching Hey Duggee with my 4 year old just before school the other morning (as you do) and asking him a whole bunch of annoying mum questions.

‘Why are they called Squirrels when they are clearly not?’

“How come Duggee doesn’t talk but only barks?  How can the ‘squirrels’ understand him?’

And so on (in case you are interested, according to my 4 year old, the answers are ‘Mummy, they just are squirrels OK!’ ‘Duggee is a dog, of course he can’t talk!‘ and then a blank stare with regards to the last question!)

If you have not come across it before, Hey Duggee is a programme on CBeebies in which a dog called Duggee runs what appears to be an after school club called The Squirrels.  So far, so pretty normal for a kids programme.  But this morning I had a bit of a revelation when I was watching it.  In the programme there are a number of different animals who attend the club, ranging from a hyperactive hippo, a sweet-natured rhino, an imaginative octopus and a giggly mouse.  Unsurprisingly, their parents are a hippo, a rhino, an octopus and a mouse.  Nothing surprising there.

However, this morning I noticed something I just hadn’t clicked to before.  There is one other creature in the programme – a lovely, happy crocodile – aptly named Happy.  His parents?  Elephants!  Yep, you read that right – elephants.  It turns out that Happy has been adopted!  When I noticed this, I was firstly mildly shocked mainly because children’s TV doesn’t often challenge perceptions of families, and then I was absolutely delighted!  For my two, it gives them the security to realise that they are not alone in being adopted.  It normalises what the life they are living!  Well done BBC – what a great idea – and I hope that they will continue to challenge the perceptions and stereotypes of what families look like. This is exactly the type of world I want my children to grow up in – where their norm is just that, normal!

Have you come across any other children’s programmes that challenge the perceptions? We’d love to know so we can take a look!

Featured image credit : BBC/CBeebies

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19 thoughts on “Why I Love Hey Duggee : Changing Perceptions

    1. cherrynewby Post author

      Absolutely!! Wouldn’t that be just brilliant to see everything normalised – it would make the world for our kids a much more tolerant place! x

  1. Jo Sandelson

    How affirming for you and your children. Programmes often 2.2 kids and married parents so great to divert from ‘norm’. Especially as there is no norm really. All the best, Jo #eatsleepblogRT

  2. Becki Parsons

    Yes! I LOVE Duggee! There’s so much diversity in it – I adored the gay crab couple in the Sandcastle episode. And there’s plenty of grown up references in it. Oh and the music! (Can you get tell I like it?)

    1. cherrynewby Post author

      I love it too! I hadn’t watched it before this last week but it’s definitely up there as one of my favourite kids programmes at the moment! x

  3. Lucy

    We watch hey duggee all the time and I never even noticed this?! How brilliant of BBC to address this, it makes me love the programme even more! #marvmondays

    1. cherrynewby Post author

      Isn’t it brilliant! I hadn’t spotted it either but when I did it was a bit of a ‘oh!!!!’ moment! x

    1. cherrynewby Post author

      That’s exactly what I thought. I’m really hoping that we start to see more and more of these programmes in the future!

    1. cherrynewby Post author

      I was so delighted when I saw it! It’s also made me so much more aware when I’m watching programmes to see what else is out there! Love a bit of Hey Duggee 🙂 x

  4. My Petit Canard

    We watch Hey Duggee all the time and I cant believe that I’ve never noticed this. I guess in a way thats a great thing itself, but I love knowing now (thanks to this post) that this has been done. I think this is great and a perfect way to introduce the topic of adoption to little ones. Definitely something I am going to look out for the next time its on and maybe even try to talk about it with our little lady 🙂 Great post, thanks for sharing it on #MarvMondays. Emily


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