Why Northern Ireland needs Big Bird

But can Big Bird handle Northern Ireland’s four year olds? Sesame Street is doing its homework before producing a local version of the Award winning children’s programme.

“In a recent study, conducted by the University of Ulster, children were shown pictures and objects relating to different communities and asked what they thought of them. Almost two-thirds of three-year-old Catholics preferred the Irish flag, while 59% of Protestants preferred the Union Jack. One four-year-old Catholic girl said: ‘I like the people who are ours. I don’t like those ones because they are Orangemen. They’re bad people.’ A Protestant girl of the same age said: ‘Catholics are the same as masked men. They smash windows.'”

Gary Knell, the president and chief executive of Sesame Workshop:

“It won’t be easy. The issues [in Northern Ireland] are extremely complex and we don’t pretend to have all the answers. It’ll be about finding the right partners.”