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EDITIONS
Friday, 18 October, 2002, 11:03 GMT 12:03 UK
An adults' guide to the Fimbles
The Fimbles
Here come the Fimbles: Fimbo, Florrie and Pom

You don't have to be three to know about Dipsy, Laa-Laa and Po - the Teletubbies have long been fodder for adult conversation. But what do you know of the latest children's TV sensation, the Fimbles?
Picture a colourful group of stripy upright badgers whose goal in life is finding things.

Throw in a chortling frog and a mole who doubles up as an underground librarian and you will begin to get a picture of the magical world of the Fimbles.

Fimbo
Fimbo: Green and yellow and likes crackers
Children across the country are getting used to this latest post-Teletubby offering from Children's BBC.

But they're not the only ones who need to pay attention. The Teletubbies have been the subject of some solid sociological debate:

  • is their baby-talk bad for children's education?
  • the value of repetition - "again, again"...
  • and does Tinky Winky's handbag make him a gay icon?

In their wake followed the Tweenies and Bob the Builder, so that now it seems adults need to know as much about children's culture as the little darlings themselves.

Womble-like

For the uninitiated, the Fimbles are a cross between The Wombles and the Clangers and are obviously cute, cuddly and colourful.

Florrie
Florrie: Blue and purple, and carries a doll
Fimbo, Florrie and Pom live in a magical world called Fimble Valley.

It features such attractions as a waterfall made of bubbles and a tinkling tree - not a toilet for dogs but a musical tree with tiny bells on the end of the branches.

The Fimbles raison d'etre is finding things - and they have special skills developed for that reason.

When they get a "fimbling feeling" their long noses and fingers start twinkling, and you know there is a new object in the vicinity.

Favourite things

Much like their SW19 cousins, the Fimbles make good use of the things that they find and each episode revolves around the object - be it a tambourine, pink wig or blue sock.

Pom
Pom: Pink and green and is the baby of the bunch
The valley is full of the Fimbles' friends including Bessie, a pink bird with a Yorkshire accent, Roley Mo - a mole with a huge underground collection of books and Rockit the frog - an amphibious joker who loves playing games and dancing.

Just as the Teletubbies have their favourite things, the Fimbles are equally identifiable by their possessions.

Fimbo has a Shimmy Shaker - his own musical instrument that he shakes at every opportunity.

Florrie is never without her tiny doll, Little One, and Baby Pom has a Trundle Truck in much the same way as Po of Teletubby fame has her scooter.

Things to say
That fimbling feeling
I'd love a crumble cracker
Back in a roly mo
The show is pitched at children who have outgrown the Teletubbies but are not yet ready for the sophistication of the Tweenies.

The episodes include games, songs and stories and, although the magical world is a strange place, it is still not as scary as a Tweenies' pop concert.

The Fimbles language skills are more advanced than those of Tinky Winky, Dipsy, Laa-Laa and Po and so they should avoid the ire levelled at their forebears from parents annoyed at their "eh-oh" babytalk.

Roly Mo in his underground library
Roly Mo: An underground librarian and mole to boot
At first glance there is little in the Fimbles for parents to complain about.

Their colourful, informative world seems a very safe place for children to spend 20 minutes learning and laughing.

The characters' catchphrase is "I'm getting that Fimbling feeling" and the makers of the series will be hoping it is soon ringing out in homes across the country much as "again, again" was when the Teletubbies launched.

And with 130 episodes already commissioned, whatever your feelings on the programme, you'll be hearing a lot more of the Fimbles.

See also:

08 May 02 | Entertainment
04 Jul 01 | Entertainment
25 Oct 00 | Entertainment
25 Feb 00 | Entertainment
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