Thursday, November 16, 2006

Sportacus to conquer Down Under?

As the Ashes looms, an international, sporty superhero is set to conquer the world. Last year it was Andrew Flintoff who set the world alight with his sub-human feats, this time it's Sportacus.

My wife tells me that the Nickelodeon programme has hooked kids. One friend can't even get her son away from the TV, while attempts to show comparisons with this new icon and England's captain (in a bid to get some reality) are fruitless.

Sportacus is a kid's phenomenon by all accounts. Created by aerobic champion Magnus Scheving (who plays the lead role and whose name sounds like a World's Strongest Man contestant), LazyTown, the Icelandic kids show which features the super hero, has been sold to 103 countries and premieres in Australia on 18 December; just in time to help out Australia's middle-order on Day 5 in Perth.

The Icelandic creator, who must have been inspired by the Bodyline players such is his moustache, says the show aims to educate children by way of entertainment. And why not: eating burgers apparently makes Sportacus sluggish, while there's nothing this health-conscious hero can't do when he's munching on fresh vegetables.

So, can both Ashes teams do the same again to prise away kids from TV sets and gain early interest in the sport?