In 2006, Icelandic children’s show LazyTown snatched up the BAFTA for Best International Children’s Programme. It was a surprise win that made the Icelandic nation come together to sing and do some aerobics. It was even said that the devious strong-chinned villain Robbie Rotten—played by the late great Stefán Karl Stefánsson—got on his feet and cheered.
Scheming & winning
The show revolves around pink-haired firecracker Stephanie and her BFF superhero Sportacus, as they attempt to make the residents of LazyTown less lazy—hence the name of the show. Every episode, the evil Robbie Rotten does all he can to thwart their plans, before eventually getting outwitted by the duo somewhere around the 20 minute mark. But don’t worry—he always thinks of a new scheme by the next episode.
Full of Europop songs and choreographed dance numbers, the show found an audience worldwide, with its 100+ episodes airing in over 180 countries. That said, it’s still pretty baffling that a tiny show from Iceland about eating vegetables and being social could beat SpongeBob Squarepants. Guess you do belong at Weenie Hut Junior, you ripped-pants rectangle loser.
Get on your feet!
In an interview post-win, creator Magnús Scheving—who also played Sportacus—compared the victory to winning the Olympics. “It has a positive influence on children,” he said of the show. “[LazyTown] teaches children a healthy lifestyle. Not just eating healthy food, but being kind, doing well in school, and going to bed early.”
Unfortunately, though the show was nominated again in 2007 and 2008, it lost to SpongeBob Squarepants and Yo Gabba Gabba, respectively. So, while Robbie Rotten was notoriously #1, we can’t always be the best. But hey, we’re definitely the healthiest.
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