Friday, 21 December 2007

9th Tube of Christmas: Teddy Bear

When Gillian Gibbons, a British teacher at the Unity high school in Khartoum, Sudan allowed her pupils to vote on the name of a teddy bear, she surely didn't anticipate a diplomatic incident and week-long dominance of the British news headlines. But that was the result of the choice of her second-grade class to name the toy Muhammad. From the breaking news of the arrest and threat of 40 lashes, through the prison sentence and demonstrations calling for execution, to Gibbons' eventual release a week later, the 'teddy bear outrage' was a thoroughly absurd storm.

WINNER: Ridiculous News Story of the Year 2007 = A Teddy Bear Called Muhammad

2007 hasn't been a good year for interactive TV. What began with failings on the part of the phone line operator behind the Richard & Judy show's 'You Say We Pay' ended up encompassing all the major UK channels. But surely the highpoint of daftness in this whole sorry saga was the revelation that the producers of Blue Peter had failed to name a cat according to viewers' wishes. Following wild speculation, it turned out that 'Socks' should have been called 'Cookie'!

RUNNER-UP: Ridiculous News Story of the Year 2007: A Cat Called Socks

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