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How can Anglia TV bring back BC WITHOUT Helen McDermott?

PUBLISHED: 17:00 23 October 2019

Helen McDermott with BC. 

Photo: Archant

Helen McDermott with BC. Photo: Archant

Archant © 2008

For a generation of children, the dream was for Helen McDermott and BC to read out your birthday on Anglia TV's birthday club. Now. BC is being brought back for Anglia TV's birthday celebrations - without Helen. BC will be heartbroken, says Liz Nice

I don't usually do a column on a Wednesday but something has come to my attention that I feel must be aired - so that I can find out if other people feel the same way!

I learn that Anglia TV are going to be celebrating their 60th anniversary on Monday - and one of their celebratory moments will be reviving the much missed and loved puppet, BC.

As a child, I was mesmerised by him and used to dream that one day he might read out my birthday on air.

It never happened, sadly, and in fact, it was never BC who actually read out the birthdays - but the wonderful Helen McDermott who I thought was absolutely fantastic, as, I recall, did my Dad, for reasons I am sure I don't need to spell out here.

Years later, I was walking through the EDP corridors when I ran into Helen, who I didn't expect to know me from Adam.

However, she stopped me and complimented me on a column I had written about mental health, a subject close to Helen's heart.

We ended up standing in the corridor chatting for about 30 minutes while people passed us on either side with their lunch, wondering what on earth we were so deep in conversation about. It felt as though I had known Helen all my life and, I suppose, in a way, I had.

We became friends from that moment and Helen has been a great force in my life. A wonderful support, a huge source of fun and mischief and a very loyal friend.

For people of my generation, she was the older sister you always dreamed of; I feel very lucky that, for me, this is exactly what she became.

So, imagine my sadness, on Helen's behalf, when I realised that, although BC will be reading out people's birthdays during the Anglia 60th anniversary celebrations, Helen won't be there. She hasn't been invited.

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Anglia, why?

"Don't make a thing of it," Helen said when I asked her about it, but well, sometimes you have to, don't you? If something doesn't seem to be quite right.

I mentioned the story to a colleague sitting next to me and she was as horrified as I was, recalling a visit to the Suffolk Show one year as a little girl when she actually got to meet BC and buy a mini replica of him. She didn't keep him long though. He was lonely on his own.

"BC without Helen?" she said. "That's like Emu without Rod Hull. Or Orville without Keith Harris. Nookie bear without Roger de Courcey, Gordon the Gopher without Phillip Schofield…"

Well, it is!

What can Anglia be thinking not asking Helen to be involved in their birthday with BC at her side? I can't 'bear' it.

Helen is an Anglia legend and I am sure BC misses her terribly.

In fact, if I was him, on Monday, I would refuse to read out any birthdays unless my friend and inseparable co-worker (without whom he wouldn't exist) can be reinstated immediately!

Come on Anglia. Do the right thing here! Get Helen on the air to read out the birthdays with her lifelong friend - when you've worked as intimately as they have, I don't know if her hand was up his… but, well, they were close, put it that way - it is a travesty not to reunite them at this wonderful moment of celebration and nostalgia.

Please 'bear' this in mind.

If not, I suspect you may find yourselves with a furious BC staging a one puppet walkout.

And that really doesn't 'bear' thinking about, does it?

Should Anglia TV bring back BC without Helen? Email liz.nice@archant.co.uk

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