Live television is hardly the most convenient setting in which to be reminded of the age-old proverb that only children and fools speak the truth.
So the father who nicknamed his child’s toy monkey after Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, must have been mortified to have his private joke cruelly exposed when the youngster took part in one of the country’s most popular TV phone-ins.
The embarrassing disclosure was made on Amoo Pourang (Uncle Pourang), a programme watched by millions of Iranian children three times a week on state TV. It came when the unsuspecting presenter, Dariush Farziayi, asked the name of the toy animal his young caller had been given as a reward for good behaviour.
“Well, my father calls him Ahmadinejad,” the child replied.
Now the father’s discomfort has spread to the programme-makers after the state broadcaster, IRIB, responded by withdrawing it from viewing schedules.
The final episode will be screened next week after a successful seven-year run.