Belfast Telegraph

Bob the Builder hits back at ‘Z-list’ slur

By Amanda Poole

The people behind Bob the Builder have hit back at claims he is a ‘Z-list’ celebrity.

The children’s favourite spoke out after Belfast City councillor Davy Browne was branded a Grinch because he wanted to slash the £138,000 spent on annual Christmas festivities to around £20,000.

Mr Browne said the city is turned into a “laughing stock” when X Factor rejects like Same Difference and Bob the Builder are used for the festive switch-on.

In an exclusive interview with the Belfast Telegraph, Bob said he’s not fazed by councillor Browne’s comments and as long as all the boys and girls out there love him, he will continue to make personal appearances.

“Let me nail this Z-list celebrity nonsense,” Bob said through his minders.

“I have an A-list of many celeb clients. And kids would put me on their A-list, too!”

Versions of Bob’s animated show are available in Croatian, Dutch, English, French, German, Hebrew, Hindi, Italian, Spanish, Slovenian and many other languages.

His creator Keith Chapman told the Belfast Telegraph that the chirpy builder is nothing short of a global icon.

“Which other Z-list celeb — or even A-list for that matter — is seen in EVERY country in the world and has generated over $4 billion in sales?” Keith asked.

“That’s twice what Avatar has done! Bob isn’t a Z-list celeb. He’s a global icon.

“Eat your heart out James Cameron!”

Bob and Keith’s comments have been backed up by fans in Northern Ireland.

Ethan Moore (3), from Larne has his own Bob the Builder clothing and work station complete with yellow safety hat and goggles.

He said: “Bob is a nice man. He drives muck about. I like his yellow hat.”

It’s not just children who love the cheerful chap. Gerry Morgan (25), from Newry is the drummer with rock band Mojo Fury and is also a big fan of Bob’s.

Gerry said: “Bob the Builder is great. He’s not Z-list. I like him because he’s a giver, not a taker. He’s a hero in his local community.”

This year’s Christmas light switch-on will take place on Saturday, November 19, but it’s not yet known who has been hired for the festive duty.

Councillor Browne said he had nothing against Bob, but objected to paying thousands of pounds to “nonentities who flick a switch and then disappear out the back door as fast as they can with their money”.

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