Children’s TV show sparks passion for porridge

A PORRIDGE-eating revolution has been started by youngsters eager to devour the favourite food of characters in a new BBC series.

The makers of The Adventures Of Abney & Teal said parents had reported growing demands for the breakfast dish from young viewers of the show, which features porridge being made in most episodes.

The pair live on an island in a city park – Abney in a hut, where they cook the porridge, and Teal in the tree above.

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A spokeswoman for Ragdoll Productions, which makes the show for the CBeebies channel, said: “We have received quite a few e-mails from families saying their children ask for and eat porridge just like Abney and Teal.”

One parent, Denise Lewis, posted on the show’s Facebook page: “My two-year-old loves Abney and now loves porridge as a result too! So that’s a big bonus.”

Jules Hopwood, six, from Glasgow, is among converts who had previously turned their nose up at porridge.

He said: “I thought porridge looked quite yummy when I saw Abney and Teal eating it. It’s nice and warm, and keeps me going until break time.”

Show creator Joel Stewart said he had been amazed by the speed of young viewers’ reaction to seeing porridge-making on screen.

He said: “Parents have contacted us saying their kids are asking for porridge, and pronouncing it delicious. One even asked for a porridge sandwich, and said they loved it!

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“I was surprised the reaction has been so quick and so positive. Not only do children ask for porridge but they want it again the next day.”

Stewart, who is from Barnsley, said he had fond memories of eating porridge as a child, and it remained a family ritual at his father’s home in East Lothian, where he moved 20 years ago.

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He said he had also been influenced by the use of porridge in fairytales such as Goldilocks and the Three Bears, and its “inherently comical nature”.

The potential boost to porridge oats sales was welcomed by Fife-based Quaker Oats, which describes itself as the UK’s favourite oats company.

A spokeswoman said: “We’re seeing more and more people opt for porridge – the market has grown by 42 per cent over the past five years.”