VIDEO: Bodger and Badger return to fight proposed badger cull in Somerset
Children’s television show Bodger And Badger is to return for a one-off special in opposition to the badger cull in the South West.
The show aired on the BBC throughout the 1990s and focused on the capers of mashed-potato-loving Badger.
Now show creator Andy Cunningham has joined wildlife charity Care For The Wild to film a version, to be shown on YouTube, in which Badger unwittingly gets involved in the Somerset badger cull, set up to test its effect on levels of TB infection in dairy herds.
Mr Cunningham said: “For a long time Badger and I didn’t think the cull would really happen. The idea of people roaming around at night shooting at, and whatever they say, very likely wounding badgers, just seemed too barbaric to be true. But when we heard this cull was really going to go ahead, Badger and I thought we ought to do something, because the case for culling doesn’t add up.”
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Some 5,000 badgers are set to be killed in two pilot culls in west Gloucestershire and west Somerset. Culling has been licensed over an unspecified six-week period in the six months from June 1.
After Andy contacted Care For The Wild, part of the Team Badger coalition fighting the cull, the charity came up with the idea for a new Bodger And Badger special.
Andy said: “The idea is that while Badger and I are having a holiday in Somerset, Badger gets an invitation from the British Government to take part in a local all-night shooting adventure, which we assume must mean paintballing. Badger decides to use something else, and I’ll give you a clue ... it’s not mashed banana.”
While the episode features the lunacy that young adults will remember from the Bodger And Badger shows, its makers insist it has a serious message.
Philip Mansbridge, chief executive of Sussex-based Care For The Wild, added: “The episode Andy came up with is fantastic – it’s typical Bodger and Badger, with all the slapstick you’d expect, but the satirical edge to the comedy is very strong.
“The video ends with the message that the badger cull is not a joke, and it’s not – farmers’ lives are being destroyed by bovine TB, cattle are being killed in their thousands, and now the plan is to kill 100,000 badgers.
“But Care For The Wild is following the science on this, which says that a cull will not work.
“We need people to realise that vaccination is a viable alternative, and we need people who don’t know what’s about to happen to find out about it.”
Watch the video below