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One-Armed CBeebies Host 'Scaring' Children

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One-Armed CBeebies Host 'Scaring' Children

Post  Guest on Mon 23 Feb - 15:10

One-Armed CBeebies Host 'Scaring' Children
1:15pm UK, Monday February 23, 2009

Disability charities have expressed anger after a number of parents complained that a one-armed children's TV presenter was frightening their kids.



Cerrie Burnell was born with one arm

Cerrie Burnell, who was born with one arm, began co-presenting Cbeebies 'Do And Discover' slot with Alex Winters last month.

She has a broad range of success as an actor, both in the theatre and on television.

But parents on online forums have claimed she 'frightens' their children.

Poster Barry wrote: "Is it just me, or does anyone else think the new woman presenter on Cbeebies (Cerrie Burnell) may scare the kids because of her disability?

"I didn't want to let my children watch the filler bits on the bedtime hour last night because I know it would have played on my eldest daughter's mind and possibly caused sleep problems... and yes, this is a serious post."

Other posters suggest the BBC employed Miss Burnell to 'score points' and accused the channel of positive discrimination.

But the vast majority of comments have offered support to the presenter, who they describe as 'lovely' and 'talented'.



Disability charities are 'appalled'

"As for Cerrie, I think her being 'disabled' ensures that children are exposed to 'different' people and situations," wrote 'Caligula' on the Digital Spy forum.

Sue Stokes, from the charity Reach, said they were appalled by the negative reaction.

"We are appalled that parents are talking on behalf of their children," she said.

"Children don't notice the differences. The parents need to think about how they would feel if it were their child born without an arm.

"It is great for children with disabilities to see people like them on the television."

A BBC spokesman said nine official complaints had been made about Miss Burnell, who has a four-month-old daughter.

CBeebies controller Michael Carrington said she is 'warm and natural'.

"It's a big ask to entertain millions of children every day," he said.

"We think that in time all mums and dads and children will love her as much as we do."

Miss Burnell was disappointed by the criticism but welcomed the discussion.

"It can only be a good thing that parents are using me as a chance to talk disability with their children," she said.

"It just goes to show how important it is to have positive disabled role models on CBeebies and television in general"

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How disgusting are the parents who are phoning up and complaining??? Jeepers! Surely they should welcome the fact that an apparently disabled lady is doing so well for herself - it sends a great message to kids watching. I cannot believe the mentality of some people!!

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Re: One-Armed CBeebies Host 'Scaring' Children

Post  Guest on Mon 23 Feb - 19:47

Unfortunately Eddie there are a lot of people like this. I get it all of the time when I have katie out in her walking frame. The kids will ask me what katies frame is for and I have no problem explaining in simple terms to them but the parent usually pull the kids away and tell them not to be asking questions. Kids are innocent and curious and they are bound to ask questions but with parents they don't know what to say when they are confronted with a disabled child. It's sad really but now katie just waves at people who stare at her, it stops them staring very fast

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Re: One-Armed CBeebies Host 'Scaring' Children

Post  Susan on Mon 23 Feb - 19:55

Antoinette that is disgusting!

I have always made sure my children know how lucky they are and should treat anyone with a disability with the same respect they expect others to give them!

Disabled people arent to blame for their disabilities and the mothers who pull children away are sick!!!

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Re: One-Armed CBeebies Host 'Scaring' Children

Post  Guest on Mon 23 Feb - 20:10

God! I cannot believe people like that Antoinette!! I agree with Amber - Mothers should welcome simple explanations like this and certainly NOT pull their kids away!!! I have told Kai many times, that most people with disabilities are aware of people's discomfort and would welcome a polite question.

I watched this presenter the other day as I was babysitting my mate's 2 year old little boy (he is SO cute!) and Kai was watching with us - neither Kai nor the 2 year old so much as batted an eyelid...and they certainly were NOT scared!!

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