Chris Evans is going to read a CBeebies Bedtime Story soon. Actual Captain America, from all three thousand Captain America films, will sit down and lull the nation’s toddlers to sleep with a sonorous reading of Even Superheroes Have Bad Days by Shelly Becker and Eda Kaban on 10 May.
Admittedly this is probably more interesting to parents than toddlers. My two-year-old, largely speaking, doesn’t care about the box office grosses of the people reading stories to him. He’s over the moon if they happen to be softly spoken and sincere like Nadiya Hussain from the Great British Bake Off, and actively less over the moon when, say, David Hasselhoff ends up bellowing a broken assembly line of words that sound as if they’ve been phonetically translated from Esperanto on cue cards held slightly too far away to be comfortably read.
No, Chris Evans is there for the mums. Ever since the series signed Tom Hardy up to read a couple of books a few months ago, CBeebies Bedtime Stories has doubled as a kind of fizzy-knickered maternal-respite service, designed to give parents something pretty to look at while they attempt to scrub wads of spaghetti hoop juice from the grain of their carpet. Which wasn’t meant to be a euphemism until I read it back just now.
To be fair, CBeebies does occasionally attempt to cater for dads – Rosamund Pike and Isla Fisher have both read stories – but their appearances haven’t been met with the same frothing tsunamis of lust as Hardy and Evans. No, CBeebies Bedtime Stories is basically now a place for sexy men to make mums feel funny – and as such here’s a list of who the show should target next.
Quite frankly, Ryan Gosling should have done a CBeebies Bedtime Story long ago. His low and lazy drawl is so persuasive that he could make any picture book sound like the world’s most beautiful lullaby, plus his hooded come-to-bed eyes would lull even the most obstinate child to sleep. He is, to quote a film he was once in, a real human being and a real hero.
Think about it. If you watch CBeebies, that means you have a child between the ages of two and six. That means you probably had sex while the Twilight films were still being released. And that means that, at the point of conception, you probably had your eyes slammed shut imagining that it was actually Edward from the Twilight films who was making love to you. Why not let him remind you of that moment again and again, possibly while reading about a dinosaur who poos a lot?
Hello ladies. Tom Hiddleston here. Just before we get to tonight’s story, allow me to point out how wonderful you look this evening. You remind me of my favourite film Heat, which I shall now recite to you in excruciating detail, while doing passable impersonations of the cast and looking you dead in the eyes. Oh, sorry, the story. Well, this story was written by an international aid worker, who once told me that the only thing that made their life worth living was the stretch of Wallander episodes I once appeared in. Hey, wake up. Wake up! I’m Tom Hiddleston!
Fact: People magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive award wasn’t just won by Mel Gibson. It was created because of him, after someone in an editorial meeting screamed out “Oh my God, he is the sexiest man alive!” as soon as his name was mentioned. So why not have him read a CBeebies bedtime story? Sure, Mel has aged a bit in the last three decades, plus there’s the ever-present risk that he’ll veer off-script and just start screaming a torrent of hellish abuse about women and people of the Jewish faith directly into the faces of your screaming children. But, hey, he’s sexy, right?
OK, fine, I’m no Chris Evans. But ask yourself this: is it healthy to show your child an unwavering parade of beautiful people? What does that say to them about the world? What will it do to their self-esteem? No, listen, what you need is me to read them a story instead. I’m quite fat. I’m going bald. I am exhausted, and parenthood has left my temper irreparably frayed. I’ll read the first half of the story at normal speed, then rush through the second half as quickly as possible because I’m bored and I want to go and watch TV. Letting me read a CBeebies Bedtime Story sends a message. That message is: “Hey kids, life does terrible things to you, and always ends in bitter disappointment.”