Who was your favourite? My favourite Mr Man was Mr Tickle, because I loved the fact that he could reach downstairs and get food out of the kitchen without getting out of bed. I dread to imagine what that says about me. And my favourite Little Miss was Little Miss Splendid, which is weird because she’s extremely annoying 😁. We had the books. We watched the cartoons. And we even had a tape of Mr Men/Little Miss songs, which we made poor Mum and Dad play in the car.
Matt Lucas, who presented this programme to mark the 50th anniversary of the Mr Men books (the Little Misses didn’t appear until 10 years later), is a year older than me, so pretty close in age. Our generation grew up with the Mr Men and Little Miss books, but I love the way that kids in primary schools today seem as keen on them as we were. The Mr Men and Little Misses are so cool 😊.
I’m not sure that I really need to see Matt dressing up as Mr Bump, or visiting a house which was full of Mr Men memorabilia, but it was fascinating to hear about the history of the books, from the Hargreaves family and from some of the people involved in making the original cartoons. And the amount of merchandise available is astounding. All from Roger Hargreaves from Cleckheaton trying to amuse his young son, who’d asked what a tickle looked like.
I actually felt a bit sad hearing about the Hargreaves family selling the “brand”, to a Japanese company, and I gather that it’s since been sold on again, to a Korean company, but it’s nice to know that Roger’s son Adam is still involved. Amazingly, the books were self-published in the early years, because publishers didn’t fancy them!
Mr Greedy and Little Miss Plump have apparently been accused of fat-shaming. And Little Miss Bossy has apparently been accused of promoting negative stereotypes about women. You just knew that something like that would have happened, wouldn’t you 🤦♀️? But, in general, the books are as popular now as they’ve ever been. Happy 50th birthday to the Mr Men!