Peppa Pig World is hit by reviews mocking Boris Johnson’s visit to the theme park after his bizarre speech to business leaders at the CBI conference
Pranksters have posted a string of hilarious TripAdvisor reviews mocking Boris Johnson’s visit to Peppa Pig World.
The Prime Minister sparked incredulity after giving a bizarre and rambling speech at the Confederation of Business Industry on Monday.
During the address, Mr Johnson lost his place in his notes, impersonated a car, compared himself to Moses and went off on a tangent about his family outing to Peppa Pig World at Paultons Park in Hampshire.
He told business leaders Daddy Pig is a bit ‘stereotyped’ after visiting the New Forest attraction with his wife Carrie and their son Wilfred on Sunday.
Mr Johnson also called the Peppa Pig cartoon character ‘pure genius’ before appearing to take a swipe at Whitehall by saying ‘no civil servant would conceivably come up with Peppa’.
Paultons Park – which was named the UK’s number one amusement park for the fifth year on the trot in TripAdvsor’s Travellers’ Choice Awards last year – has now receiving mock reviews.
One troll gave the park a five-star rating yesterday and quoted the Prime Minister’s surreal comments verbatim, passing them off as their own experience.
Another posted a three-star review online mocking Mr Johnson by complimenting the theme park’s ‘nice cafe’.
The review adds: ‘It was a lovely day out at Peppa Pig World. Our children were enjoying seeing Peppa. This changed when a large blond haired gentleman with security guards barged them out of the way.
Boris Johnson was seen enjoying a day at Peppa Pig World theme park on Sunday with his wife Carrie and their son Wilf
Pranksters have posted a string of hilarious TripAdvisor reviews mocking Boris Johnson’s visit to the theme park
The Prime Minister sparked incredulity after giving a bizarre and rambling speech at the Confederation of British Industry on Monday
During the address, Mr Johnson lost his place in his notes, impersonated a car, compared himself to Moses and went off on a tangent about his family outing to Peppa Pig World at Paultons Park in Hampshire
Dominic Raab jokes he enjoyed Peppa Pig World far less than Boris as he dismisses concerns about ‘ebullient and tiggerish’ PM’s bizarre speech to CBI
Dominic Raab today revealed that his experience of Peppa Pig World was rather less joyful than that of the the PM.
Boris Johnson gave a glowing review of the New Forest theme park – which he visited with wife Carrie and son Wilf on Sunday – in a bizarre speech to the CBI earlier this week.
Asked on a round of interviews this morning whether he had been to the attraction with his own family, Mr Raab said: ‘I have. With my boys, they loved it. They are a bit older now.’
Pressed for his personal opinion he told Sky News : ‘It’s a day of my life I won’t get back.’
Told that the premier had seemed to enjoy it rather more, he caveated: ‘When they are that age it’s quite fun.’
The comments came as Mr Raab batted away criticism of Mr Johnson’s performance at the CBI, saying the premier is ‘ebullient and tiggerish’ and on ‘great form’.
‘I know what the PM is like,’ he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. ‘He wanted to make that point about the optimism that defines this country.’
Mr Raab said Mr Johnson does not ‘stick to the script’ like other politicians in the past. ‘I just don’t think it is what the vast majority of voters listening to this show… are focused on,’ he said.
‘He claimed he needed to see the infrastructure because he had an important speech to write for the CBI.
‘Having heard his speech I was reassured that his time was well spent, although he missed a chance by not mentioning the sheep and the rabbits.
‘I hope he uses his experience to frame agricultural policy.’
Another alleged park-goer gave it a five-star rating, saying: ‘Excellent infrastructure. Daddy Pig a bit stereotypically masculine, though.’
The review proceeds to verbatim quote the PM’s surreal comments to business leaders on Monday, passing them off as their own experience.
The person states: ‘I was a bit hazy about what I’d find at Peppa Pig World. But I loved it, and Peppa Pig World is very much my kind of place.
‘It has very safe streets, discipline in schools, heavy emphasis on new mass-transit systems, I notice. Even if they’re a bit stereotypical about Daddy Pig.’
James Mancey, operations director, Paultons Park said: ‘We are delighted that the Prime Minister of the UK, Boris Johnson, chose to visit Paultons Park to enjoy valuable family time with his wife and son at Peppa Pig World, one of the five themed lands at Paultons Park.
‘As the nature of Mr Johnson’s visit was a personal one, we are unable to provide any specific details of the family’s visit.
‘However, we did have an opportunity to speak to the family before they left, when Mr Johnson and his wife were highly complimentary about their experience.
‘The fact that Mr Johnson has chosen to speak at length about his visit during today’s CBI conference, positively endorsing the creativity and innovation showcased by Peppa Pig World and encouraging others to visit, is testament to the hard work of everyone at Paultons Park who create the wonderful experience our millions of guests enjoy each year.’
Paultons Park has four and a half stars on Tripadvisor, based on just under 9,500 reviews.
Mr Johnson was forced to defend his record in office as he faced questions about his leadership and political future.
In a rowdy session of Prime Minister’s Questions, Mr Johnson was cheered by Tory MPs as he rejected claims he was not fit for office.
The Prime Minister’s appearance in the Chamber followed criticism from within his party in a series of hostile briefings since a chaotic CBI speech.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer highlighted Tory divisions over Mr Johnson’s style and rumours of a rift with Chancellor Rishi Sunak.
The Chancellor sat next to Mr Johnson in the Chamber as Sir Keir said: ‘The Prime Minister’s routine is falling flat. His Chancellor is worried that people are getting wise, his backbenchers say it’s embarrassing… and senior people in Downing Street tell the BBC ‘it’s just not working’.’
Boris Johnson speaks during Prime Minister’s Questions session in London
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer highlighted Tory divisions over Mr Johnson’s style and rumours of a rift with Chancellor Rishi Sunak during Prime Minister’s Questions
How three polytechnic graduates created Peppa Pig and its £1bn brand
Phil Davies (Producer of Peppa Pig), Morwenna Banks (Actor & Voice of Mummy Pig), Peppa Pig, Harley Bird (Voice of Peppa Pig/Actress) and Neville Astley (Co-Creator of Peppa Pig) Peppa Pig ‘Festival of Fun’ in 2019
Adored by pre-school children, Peppa Pig is the brainchild of animation studio Astley Baker Davies, headed by Neville Astley, Mark Baker, and Phil Davies, who are also behind television series The Big Knights and Holly’s Little Kingdom.
The studio had been working on a series for the BBC, but became frustrated by its scheduling so took Peppa to Channel Five and children’s satellite channel Nick Jr, with the show first airing in 2004.
Mr Neville, Mr Baker and Mr Davies went from animation graduates at Middlesex Polytechnic in the 1980s to creating a global franchise worth £1billion. The trio shared £140 million when Entertainment One bought a 70 per cent stake in Astley Baker Davies, their production company.
The children’s programme has since been broadcast in 180 territories and in 2019 Entertainment One was acquired for £3.3billion by Hasbro, the powerhouse toymaker behind the Monopoly board game, Play-Doh, My Little Pony and Transformers.
The programme was an instant smash, making £1million in merchandise sales in Peppa’s first year, and in 2005 scooped a Bafta for Best Pre-School Animation and the Grand Prix for Best TV production at the Annecy Animation Festival.
By the time the second series hit screens, Peppa had been sold to more than 120 countries, including the US, as well as Canada, Australia, France, Germany and New Zealand.
In 2010 Peppa became the UK’s top pre-school toy, with the character grossing more than £200 million in UK merchandise sales, double that of the previous year.
More theme parks look set to join Peppa Pig World at Paultons Park in Hampshire, and more merchandise – which already includes everything from Play-Doh to pyjamas, playing cards and playsets, as well as duvet covers, soft toys and jewellery.
The vast majority of Peppa’s billion dollar fortune comes from merchandising, with just five per cent made from licensing the programme for broadcast.
However, though popular, Peppa has sometimes been at the centre of controversy.
In the first two series her family did not wear seatbelts, and its heroine has been accused of encouraging children to behave badly by answering back and jumping in puddles. An episode where Peppa meets a friendly spider was also pulled from Australian television schedules over fears it could encourage children to approach deadly arachnids.
Echoing the question asked by a journalist on Monday, Sir Keir said: ‘Is everything OK, Prime Minister?’
The Prime Minister responded: ‘I’ll tell you what’s not working, it’s that line of attack.’
The Labour leader accused Mr Johnson of breaking a promise that no one would have to sell their home to pay for social care under his reforms for England, on top of a pledge he had already abandoned on not raising taxes.
Sir Keir said: ‘Who knows if he will make it to the next election. But if he does, how does he expect anyone to take him and his promises seriously?’
The Labour leader branded the social care cap a ‘working class dementia tax’ because poorer families face losing proportionally more of their assets than wealthier ones.
Mr Johnson defended his record and attacked Labour, saying his social care plan ‘does more for working people up and down the country than Labour ever did’.
And he said: ‘There are now more people in work than there were before the pandemic began, that’s because of the policies this Government has pursued.’
There was more support for Mr Johnson at Prime Minister’s Questions than there had been last week, although some gaps were still visible on the Tory benches.
At one point as Conservatives barracked Sir Keir, the Labour leader said: ‘I see they have turned up this week, Prime Minister.’
The SNP’s Westminster leader Ian Blackford said the Prime Minister ‘can’t even give a coherent speech to business’ adding: ‘Officials have lost confidence in him, Tory MPs have lost confidence in him – the letters are going in – and the public have lost confidence in him.
‘Why is he clinging on when quite simply he isn’t up to the job?’
The Prime Minister asked Mr Blackford ‘what on earth he is doing talking about party political issues’ when the people of Scotland wanted to know about the ‘manifold failures’ of the SNP government in Edinburgh.
The Commons exchanges came after Cabinet minister Dominic Raab insisted the Prime Minister ‘is on great form’ and dismissed ‘Westminster tittle tattle’ about his position.
Downing Street was forced to insist that the Prime Minister was physically ‘well’ and ‘focused on delivering for the public’ following questions about the CBI speech on Monday which saw him lose his place in his notes, impersonate a car and talk about a visit to Peppa Pig World.
Rumours have swirled about strained relations between Mr Johnson’s No 10 and Mr Sunak’s No 11 since a ‘senior Downing Street source’ told the BBC ‘there is a lot of concern inside the building about the PM’ and ‘it’s just not working’.
Allies of Mr Sunak denied the Treasury was involved in the briefing.
The anonymous source of the incendiary briefing to the BBC has been dubbed the ‘Chatty Pig’ in Westminster, as the comments emerged following the Prime Minister’s CBI speech.
Justice Secretary Mr Raab told BBC Breakfast: ‘It’s the job of Westminster commentators to pick up on one anonymous source from wherever they found it to criticise the Government of the day, that’s fine.’
He said Mr Johnson was ‘focused on the job at hand’, adding: ‘The Prime Minister is an ebullient, bouncy, optimistic, Tiggerish character and he livens up his speeches in a way that few politicians past and present have done, but actually there is a steeliness to him as a Prime Minister and indeed his team, and we work as a team.’
One Tory MP said Mr Johnson was ‘losing the confidence’ of his backbenchers and should quit in the new year.
The MP would not say whether they had submitted a letter to the 1922 Committee of Tory backbenchers calling for Mr Johnson to quit.
But the Telegraph quoted a Tory whip as saying it was an ‘assumption’ that some MPs had sent no-confidence letters to the 1922 Committee.
If 15 per cent of sitting Conservatives submit letters then there would be a vote on his leadership, although the whip said ‘it will not get anywhere near the 50 letters you would need, but it does cause angst’.
Asked about the suggestion that letters had been sent to the 1922 Committee, Mr Raab told LBC: ‘There is the usual Westminster tittle tattle and I’m not aware of that.’