Brits on fact-finding mission in South Park
City Museum, pictured, the area of South Park and to the South Park High School. Now, the British may have a parallel in the upcoming “Streatham Hill” – a BBC television cartoon based loosely on “South Park.”|Special to the Daily/Linda Balough|
FAIRPLAY – “South Park” may soon have a counterpart in the United Kingdom.
When Fairplay Mayor Tammy Quinn starting getting phone calls from television and radio stations in England, she expected to answer questions about tourist attractions.
Instead, the questions centered on the British Broadcasting Co.’s plans to air a program roughly based on Comedy Central channel’s cult-classic cartoon, “South Park.”
Matt Stone and Trey Parker, the creators of the brash show, were raised in Bailey and gave their show the name of the region just over Kenosha Pass from their old stomping grounds.
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Their often-outrageous creation was named the “Most Offensive Show” in 2002 by the Parents TV Council, and it once held the record for the most swear words on one half-hour show.
Small wonder the Brit have some misgivings about the creation of a similar “programme” on the “telly” – although they love to watch the imported American show.
According to Gundrun Lawyer, a producer for a television station in the U.K., the proposed show is already stirring controversy. Even though the British version has yet to air, there is an uproar among callers on radio talk shows.
The BBC’s Channel 4, which brings the American-made South Park cartoon to the British Isles, plans to air its version about what it calls an imaginary town and school, with the working title of “Streatham Hill.”
But it just so happens – surprise, surprise – there is a real school of the same name, and people in that community are afraid viewers will associate the program with their school.
On the phone, Quinn fielded questions first from Lawyer’s TV station, and then found herself being broadcast live to three successive radio stations in England.
“I could hear some of the callers, and they were very unhappy about the effect the show might bring to them,” she said.
When interviewers asked about the effect on Fairplay and the South Park area, “I told them that, of course there was a lot of controversy at first, but I kept explaining that it is a cartoon aimed at adults, and even though it is outrageous, it has brought a lot of tourists to see the real South Park.”
She added that the draw to visit the real South Park has allowed a lot of people the opportunity to see a part of Colorado they might not have visited otherwise.
She told the Brits calling in to relax, and that they might find the new show will be a good thing for their community, adding, “We kind of like the attention.”
Correspondent Linda Balough can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.