Parents have been complaining that Mr Tumble is greeting children inappropriately
Is Mr Tumble doing it all wrong?
When my children were younger, we used to watch Mr Tumble together and they would love to copy his hand movements and try the signs.
However, parents have been complaining he is using Makaton rather than British Sign Language – with disastrous consequences…
At the opening of the programme, Justin, the presenter, says the Makaton gesture means ’Im happy to see you’.
However, the gesture means something completely different in British Sign Language.
In British Sign Language the gesture means ‘I’m f*****g you’ – yikes!
Dad-of-one Jamie Miller, who works for the Royal National Institute for the Deaf, was stunned when he watched Something Special with daughter Katie, five.
Jamie, 32, of Northallerton, Yorks, said: The signs for happy and f*****g are quite similar but it was still an awful error to make.
Katie, who is learning sign language, asked what the gesture meant. I didnt know what to tell her.
Jamie contacted the BBC five times but Mr Tumble still opens every show by making the same hand signal.
The BBC yesterday denied the blunder — saying they use Makaton signals, which vary from British Sign Language.
RNID spokeswoman Kate Sidwell said: We advised the BBC that using Makaton would cause confusion.
Makaton is used more for children with learning difficulties — it is essentially a different language.
In British Sign Language happy is shown by gently brushing the palms against each other. The swear word is made by brushing the hands together between the thumb and first finger.
If you are teaching your child British Sign Language then this is a dangerous error to make – should the BBC correct the hand movement?