Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/02/26/cbeebies_parents_complain/

UK kids presenter gets online support

Storm + teacup + stupid parents

By John Oates

Posted in Bootnotes, 26th February 2009 14:51 GMT

Supporters of one-armed CBeebies presenter Cerrie Burnell are flocking to her defence following press stories claiming her appearance was upsetting children.

The BBC is believed to have received nine complaints since Burnell took over last month. Burnell was born without the lower half of her right arm.

Disability campaigner Clair Lewis said: “As far as we are aware, just nine complaints were received – and these have been turned into a national news story. What about the thousands of parents who have spontaneously put their hands up to state their support for Cerrie?

"Our group is the biggest on Facebook but since this issue hit the headlines, over twenty online support groups have now come into existence. The public say Cerrie must stay.

“Is this news reporting? Or a subtle way in which news media are putting across their own bias on this issue?”

The Facebook group in support of Burnell has 22,345 members at the time of writing. Posters in internet forums like Digital Spy, or at least those not quoted by the Daily Hate, were broadly in support of her too.

Most said their children were not upset by her appearance although some had mentioned it. One poster said: "I don't see why its a difficult conversation to have with children... This lady has been born without an arm, she isn't to be scared of she is just like you or me..."

We shouldn't be sniggering but this did raise a smile: "My three year old boy loves her. he does however, wear a kitchen roll tube on his arm when she comes on as if to hide his hand, so he is aware of her disability. doesn't scare him though, that's ridiculous." ®