Has Rowan Atkinson followed Gerard Depardieu to Russia?

Comrade Strelkov (Стрелков)

Igor Strelkov imagined on Good Night, Little Ones

Russia isn’t well known for its internationally acclaimed television programmes but its longest running children’s TV puppet show ‘Good Night, Kids’ has been on the air for 50 years and is still as popular as ever. Such an icon it is in the jewel of Russian TV that no less a patron than Vladimir Putin conceived the idea of a new cartoon character to enhance the kiddies’ pleasure, and possibly President Putin’s too.

“At first the idea was rather unexpected,” programme producer Alexander Mitroshenkov tells RIA Novosti news agency. “But when we examined it in detail we realised that it was a winner!” Mr. Mitroshenko is as famous in Russia as Michael Jackson was in the USA. Whereas Michael Jackson, by way of surgical and cosmetic intervention, made himself look like Diana Ross, Mr. Mitroshenko appears to have restyled himself on Imelda Marcos, the widow of the late Philippine President, Ferdinand Marcos:



A prize for who can tell which is Imelda Marcos and Alexander Mitroshenkov

Имельда Маркос и Александр Митрошенков

Russian social media sites were trending with mockery for poor Mitroshenkov’s vomit-worthy fawning over Putin’s mind-boggling nomination of a character for the kiddies’ show. A social media junkie called Dedushka Udava jeered at Mitroshenkov and his crony colleagues on the Vzgliad website for “grovelling to state officials” berating their suitability to be anything of influence in children’s’ TV.

The most imaginative suggestions have, however, come from comments trying to envisage what the new character will look like. Mitroshenkov, determined to cling to the anticipation, has said only that the character will emerge from the “same enchanted forest as the show’s established puppets Khriusha the piglet and Stepasha the hare.” 

The internetsky has been ablaze with suggestions that the new idol could be Igor Strelkov – a leading rebel in the pro-Moscow militia in eastern Ukraine, “straight from the Donbass forest”.

Others have suggested that Mr. Bean may emerge as the winner, especially as this image appeared online in Russia recently:


              Putin and Mr. Bean … is this beans on toast?


Until it was realised that the ‘will have Bean’ is actually Vladislav Surkov, a Russian businessman and politician widely believed to be the mastermind behind Russia’s land-grab in Crimea, though he appears to have styled himself on Mr. Bean because NEITHER of the above images shows Rowan Atkinson!

 Then there is the suggestion that it is a prominent Putin loyalist by the name of Sergei Kurginian, a man who seems to spend half his life posing with rifles, whilst others have mocked the character Vatnichek – or Little Padded Jacket – an internet meme used to mock Russian ultra-patriots, but if you look at the two of them together it would seem that Kurginian went to Dr. Woffles Wu for his plastic makeover as he’s a dead ringer for the little Russian ‘Spongebob Squarepants’.

               Sergei Kurginian and Vatnichek, satirical suggestions for children's TV

Sergei Kurginian with Vatnichek, Russia’s Spongebob Squarepants

 Сергей Кургинян с Vatnichek

And the new character? All will be revealed, apparently, at the beginning of October.

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