Hacker on Wigan, Baftas and Sue Barker
If you haven't seen CBBC's Hacker the Dog, then you're missing out on one of TV's funniest presenters. He was recently nominated for two Children's Bafta awards, so Ariel thought it was time to catch up with the canine star.
Congratulations Hacker on your nominations. How does it feel?
It's the third year that I've been nominated, cocker. I was nominated in 2010 as best presenter - I didn't win that - Justin Fletcher [aka Mr Tumble] from CBeebies won it, he wins everything.
Then I was nominated for a game called Pup Stars, which I didn't win. And this year I've been nominated for best performer and best comedy, which I also won't win. That's four times, cocker, that I will not have won a Bafta.
Why do you think you won't win?
Because our show isn't very good. Horrible Histories has been nominated and that's better than Hacker Time so that'll win but next year, they're not making any more so I definitely will win then.
So are you going to improve your show?
No, I'm just going to sabotage the competition by deleting all their master tapes. And if Justin wins, I'll be livid because he always wins.
Hacker Time has just been recommissioned - what have we got to look forward to?
Series four is back next year with more top-flight guests if we can get 'em, or if we can't, we'll get people off the CBBC channel.
We're going to try and get Peter Kay cos he's a big fan and I can say his favourite catchphrases like "garlic bread", cos he likes it when you shout foodstuffs at him.
Is it true the Queen said you were funny when she officially opened BBC North?
She did [Hacker and co-star Dodge asked if she had brought her corgis]. She's a nice woman and the same size as I imagined her to be.
End Quote Hacker the Dog
I could be on Newsnight - Paxman's a big fan”
Why do you think you can get away with being so cheeky?
I don't get away with it often. I always get strongly-worded letters afterwards but it doesn't matter, cockers. Sue Barker likes it and Sue Barker is the benchmark of my standards.
Why are you such a big fan of her?
Because she's tall and handsome, and has got an angelic face, and the voice of an angle [this is not a typo, he really did say angle].
Are there any other presenters you admire?
I admire Bill Turnbull because he keeps bees, Susanna Reid because she doesn't keep bees, and Phil Tufnell because he hates bees. Sue Barker's got no opinion on bees.
Yes, because I can get repeat fees for terrestrial whereas I don't get them for CBBC anymore, which means the extension will never get finished and I can't afford under-floor heating in the kennel.
Are there any other shows you would like to be on?
I'd like to be on Question of Sport with Sue Barker, Wimbledon Today with Sue Barker and This Is Your Life with Sue Barker.
This Is Your Life isn't on air at the moment…
Well I could bring it back. If Keith Lemon can do Through the Keyhole, I can bring back some old tat from the 80s.
Do you think you could be on Newsnight like Cookie Monster?
End Quote Hacker the Dog
I don't have any opinion on puppets, they're for children”
Yeah, I could be on Newsnight. Jeremy Paxman's a big fan of my work - he came into the studio in London and visited me and so did Fiona Bruce. Cookie Monster's doing a new show for CBeebies, so I might blag on that.
What has been the highlight of your career?
This interview has been a highlight of my career, cocker. Working with Yonko [aka CBBC host Chris Johnson] is quite good as well, cos he's quite funny, ol' Yonky Pops.
He's a good singer and actor - he can act taller than his actual height, that's how good he is.
You moved from London to Salford with the rest of BBC Children's in 2011. How has your relocation been?
It's been great cos I'm from Wigan so I'm back in my original kennel now. I'm turning on the Christmas lights in Wigan this year because I'm the biggest celebrity to come out of there since George Formby.
Kym Marsh from Corrie is also from Wigan but she wasn't available and she's too expensive whereas I am cheap and available.
Do you have any advice for people who want to work in children's TV?
Yes, get a job in children's TV then you can work in it.
Any tips for people who want to work in puppetry?
I don't have any opinion on puppets, they're for children. I don't know why people get obsessed with them, I don't like them.
If you had to give any advice to Tony Hall, what would it be?
I don't know who he is.
He's the director general of the BBC…
Oh yeah, Tony! I would suggest to up the meat paste content in the canteen and to watch CBBC more often, cos it's the best channel the BBC has and I'm the best one on it, so technically I'm the best person who works at the BBC.
I'm better than Shane Richie.
Hacker was speaking to Ariel reporter Rumeana Jahangir.
- The 2013 British Academy Children's Awards will be held on 24 November in London. See Hacker and the CBBC gang in action in their Milky Brew song.