back to article Little Chef in 'I ♥ Charlie' t-shirt outrage

Roadside foodmonger Little Chef has fallen foul of the Sun for punting an "I ♥ Charlie" t-shirt which is apparently doing a roaring trade with students with a penchant for marching with Bolivians. The Little Chef I Love Charlie t-shirt The shirt is, of course, intended to celebrate the chain's culinary mascot, but as the Sun …


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  1. Cameron Colley

    It gets worse! I had a Jack Daniels T-shirt!

    Before I bought the shirt I had never touched a drop of alcohol in my life -- after buying it I was on a bottle of Jack a day!

    Ban these shirts! Ban them to hell!!!!!!

    1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: It gets worse! I had a Jack Daniels T-shirt!

      I saw a ten-year-old wearing a JD t-shirt. It made me feel a bit ill.

      These, though, are most amusing.

      1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge


        I saw a mother filling a baby's bottle with coca-cola and giving it to the aforementioned infant.

        I mean, seriously, no vodka or anything.

      2. andy gibson

        @ Sarah

        Even worse, I saw a pre-teen wearing a "porn star" T shirt with her pink velour tracksuited "mother" in Warrington. And no it wasn't Kerry Katona.

        1. jnewco81


          Wow. Just wow.

      3. Graham Marsden

        What about the underage kid I saw...

        ... wearing a shirt saying "It's not going to lick itself" with an arrow pointing downwards?!

      4. Mark 65

        @Sarah Bee

        What if the kid's name was "Jack Daniels"?

        1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

          Re: @Sarah Bee

          It was a girl.

          1. lpopman

            titular hypothesis

            Her name could be Jaqueline Daniels, actually :)

            Kids clothes started going downhill when the boob-tubes for 9 year olds came out..

            Kids should be allowed to be kids, and not be forced into growing up too soon.

  2. Anonymous Coward

    Good grief!

    If the Sun editors and 'journalists' were to stop shoving so much of the stuff up their own noses then they might not associate everything with it! Should Coca-Cola merchandising with the word "Coke" on it be banned too?

    1. George Nacht

      You beat me to it

      Exactly my thoughts.

      Besides, neither Little chef nor Bolivians have trademark on "Charlie". "I love charlie" may easily refer to british 80th rock band. Or member of Vietcong, for that matter. Or that tunnafish mascot, sorry, I forgot the name of the brand. Or Winston Churchill´s favourite parrot.

      Or... I doubt it is necessary to continue.

      I am actually more distressed by fact that someone saw this t-shirt and thought "cocaine!".

      1. MJI Silver badge

        Vietcong here too

        That was my first thought!

        1. Uncle Slacky Silver badge

          Charlie don't cook...

          ...or surf, obviously.

      2. Anonymous Coward

        You beat me to it also

        I was thinking Charlie from Lost

    2. Les Matthew

      Re: Good Grief

      Coca is the real thing clue. :)

  3. Martin 19

    Traditionally enjoyed by Audi-driving sales reps;

    Charlie always seems like a good idea at the time, usually due to some kind of misplaced nostalgia and seemingly happy memories of partaking before.

    You hunt for it in the night, a few phone calls and wracking of brains later you find it on some godforsaken back road, and tuck in.

    Afterwards of course there's always a feeling of shame, slight nausea and your wallet is £50 lighter. You resolve never to do it again, only for the cycle to begin once more at a later time.

    Cocaine? God no, I was talking about eating at a Little Chef...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Traditionally enjoyed by Audi-driving sales reps

      More than a hint of Ben Elton in there.

      Remember, beer will lead to hard drugs, KFC anyone?

    2. CASIOMS-8V

      You Sir

      Win this thread.

      +1 Internet Points

  4. Lottie

    The sun...

    ... Scraping the barrel of things to get pissed off at.

  5. Derek Green

    Thanks for the tip :-D

    Great story. I've just ordered one and will wearing it with pride this weekend (provided this extra advertising doesn't overload the Little Chef's web ordering systems ;-)

    I'll leave it for others to further explore the 'Prodigy' references!

    Smiley face for... "We call it.... Chaaarrrrlllliieeee" :-D

  6. TeeCee Gold badge

    "....available in small, medium, large and XL...."

    If my recollection of what's on offer in yer average Little Chef is anything to go by, they'd do better ditching the Small/Medium sizes and adding XXL, XXXL, etc.

    Unless they're expecting the wearer's fondness for Charlie to burn off all those calories of course......

  7. Steen Hive

    Someone should tell the Sun

    That Bolivian Marching Powder is probably better for you than Little Chef food ;-)

    1. Michael 82
      Thumb Up

      @Someone should tell the sun...

      Is that before or after heston had a go at improving the menu and quality of grub?

    2. Kool-Aid drinker


      That's not a joke; it's true.

  8. Zobbo
    Thumb Up

    Holiday gear

    I can't wait to see someone trying to go through customs in that.

  9. Steve 48


    they ought to do a fleece version - it's what they've been doing to anyone gullible/desperate enough to walk through their doors!

  10. Stone Fox
    Thumb Up

    this is not a title

    An I love charlie bumper sticker, what a brilliant idea for those who long a long conversation with the boys in blue everytime they drive anywhere...

  11. George Nacht

    Not to mention....

    ...that one of more than fifty slang terms for cocaine is "Scooby Doo".

    Oh Christ, will someone think abou tthe children?

    1. mamsey

      Oh Christ, will someone think about the children?

      They're not having any of my charlie...

  12. Dez666

    Surprised no one has mentioned the website address...

    Most surprising to me is that The Sun (rabid rag that it is) did not call for an immediate banning of the Little Chef merchandise website.

    Surely only 'fun' things can be purchased at

  13. LuMan


    Well, it looks to me like The Sun is aspiring to be more like the Daily Mail. Scaremongering among the middle classes with tales of society's corrosion. Mind you, any organisation who aspires to be like The Mail needs a good dose of charlie...

  14. Anonymous Coward

    If this had been several years ago...

    ... I would have assumed that the T-shirt referred to Charlie Dimmock!

    1. TeeCee Gold badge

      Re: If this had been several years ago...

      Yes that would work nicely to pimp your ride.

      A bumper sticker on one end and big hooters on the other......

  15. pctechxp
    Thumb Up


    I've never indulged in hoovering up Bolivian Marching Powder (or taken any form of illegal drug) but this amuses the hell out of me so I might just buy one of these shirts as a two fingered salute to Middle Englanders and toffs living off Mummy's and Daddy's inheritance

    Are they selling them on the website?

  16. Ned Leprosy Silver badge

    The Sun, that legendary bastion of morality

    Sigh. "Charlie" may be synonymous with cocaine to Sun hacks, but for (most of) the rest of us, it's just a name. Don't they have some alleged "pea-doh" or someone who looks a bit funny to be throwing to the wolves today?

    Sometimes facepalming just isn't enough.

  17. Winkypop Silver badge

    As if they didn't know already...

    The marketing twonks who came up with the slogan/design have probably hoovered up kilos of the white stuff.

    It's innocent but not.

    It gets press

    Wallah! A successful campaign is born...

    1. bluesxman

      You might be onto something...

      The "c" is lower case, implying it's not a proper noun, just a noun. I can't think of too many things "charlie" (vs "Charlie") might be referring to. Actually I'm struggling to get beyond a count of one.

      Might buy one for the comedy factor ... £9 including delivered seems a bit steep. Then again, it's less than going 4 ways on a gram, I suppose.

    2. Rattus Rattus

      I'm seeing the term "Wallah"

      popping up more and more lately. Has there been a trend towards saying this ironically that I've missed, or are there really that many people who don't realise it's "Voila"?

  18. hplasm

    "I do not think it is responsible for Little Chef to sell a shirt with that slogan."

    What the hairy hell does that statement actually MEAN?

    Responsible for what and to whom?

    Urge to throttle rising...

  19. Witty username
    Thumb Up

    Buy em before they get banned

    ebay for victory!

  20. Kool-Aid drinker

    The Daily Mail

    doesn't appear to have picked up this story yet. Pity. It might divert some attention away from the story about the woman who has never worked, gets £29K p.a. in benefits and has managed to fund a boob job on said benefits. That one had 303 rabid comments at the last count.

    1. Elmer Phud

      Daily Fail

      That may be because they are in a tizzy about Dave the Twat's idea to drop child benefit for the slighty better off.

      "Mother of four on Child Benefit and with £60k income spends benefit on cocaine" mustn't attack the core readers, who can they turn their indignation on?

  21. Anonymous Coward


    So the mother twigged pretty quickly then. Filthy slapper!

    Can we expect a KFC one with "I 3> COCK" ?

  22. wolfmeister


    well if anyone remembers (and maybe they still do) they used to sell a desert called 'Purple Haze' lol - the name of a variety of LSD i beleive

    1. Slappy
      IT Angle

      A title is possibly required

      That would be "Purple Ohms", so called because of the ... wait for it... purple ohm symbol printed on them. Purple Haze is a type of weed

      Erm, so i heard.

      Oh, the IT angle?

    2. Olafthemighty
      Black Helicopters

      Purple Haze?

      Skunk, actually. Bloody good, too.


      1. Anonymous Coward

        No apparently

        about it. Very nice Sativa cross.

        Cheese nice also but laughing buddah is the danglies.


  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    ...wearing a t-shirt declaring your love for an animated child safety cat be contrary to extreme porn laws?

  24. Mike Bell

    Pot Noodle

    A snack "food". Who are they trying to kid!

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Nobody is allowed to use the word Charlie anymore? So we can't burn coke any more. And that's it for words like horse, smack, crack, jelly, etc. etc.

    It wasn't the gay community that removed the word "gay" from common usage, it was the outraged (and hypocritical) moral majority. There's barely a journo who doesn't dabble in a bit of the magic white powder once in a while.

  26. Anonymous Coward

    Sun missed the obvious spelling difference then?

    Because when talking about Cocaine in a slang vernacular, it's called Charly, not charlie. Idiots - typically they don't know anything about the thing they're outraged at. This is why we need decent drug education in this country.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Look, we all know Roops papers have a penchant for advertising Roop's other products in what might politely be called advertisements thinly disguised as editorial.

    How about this being a clever advert for the T-shirts. Maybe students haven't been snapping up the t-shirts, but little chef hoped they would. So they could either, bung a journalist a few free bacon sarnies to run the story or simply pose as an outraged mum and ring the news desk and hope the eejits at the Sun buy it.

  28. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    IT Angle

    I believe the next release of 'Monarch' - the management app for small countries everywhere - is going to be called Charlie 3.0, this might be showing your support for him.

    1. TeeCee Gold badge

      Re: IT Angle

      Except of course that for the next version of "Monarch", "Charlie" is only the development name and it's already been said that the RTM version will be called "George".

      I reckon it's something to do with being as nutty as a fruitcake and talking to plants myself.

  29. Tron Silver badge

    In the public interest...

    ...we really need a website that closely monitors the personal habits of tabloid hacks, specifically keeping a close eye on their addictive and sexual misdemeanours. They make their ill-gotten gains snooping into other folks' affairs, not least at the expense of the England football team. Let's turn the spotlight on them, and see how their lives and marriages hold up to persistent scrutiny.

    One for the citizen journalists and bloggers who are always getting ripped off by them, perhaps.

  30. heyrick Silver badge

    Charlie says...

    ...don't play with matches.

    Or read the Sun.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      My first thought too

      Although I only remember Charlie telling children not to talk to strangers.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    That's nothing

    Amazon product spammer "shop-<greekgod>"* is selling bibs with the same slogan

    ok so they seemingly just auto-generate products from a database of peoples names and you can find the same product for almost anyone by searching "shop-<greek god>*" <name> but they're evil and they are corrupting our children and they must be stopped. light the pitchforks and sharpen the torches etc...

    *replaced the real name of a god that rhymes with moose to try and show I'm not advocating them or buying their products (I did and the quality's rubbish so really don't bother).

  32. Anonymous Coward

    Charlie the Unicorn FTW

    Or is this another Charlie?

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "was last night accused of encouraging drug use" ... by whom?

    Guess it's either the Mum quoted - therefore holds no authority - not worth mentioning, or is just made up.

    No outrage 'cause no doubt they want to 'ave-a-larf with the readership.

    Also, no moral highground can be held when the rag punts as much juvenile sexualised content as it does.

    8 out of 10 paedophiles read The Sun.

  34. miknik

    Simmering rage...

    Someone bought me one of these for a laugh on my birthday, that was in January so they have taken a while getting wound up over this. Its not new, and its not news and that's why it's in The Sun.

  35. Anonymous Coward

    Protecting the 'children'

    Hmm, aren't university students all over 18? So independent adults? So I reckon legally entitled to wear t-shirts with whatever slogan they choose (within the bounds of obscenity/decency etc)?

    Doesn't cocaine dull your sense of taste? Perfect for a plateful of the cardboard shite served up at a Little Chef then.

    I'm actually quite impressed at the thought there might be enough of a legitimate market for these (ie. people who like the place enough to show their support in public) for them to sell them in the first place!

    1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Protecting the 'children'

      It suppresses appetite too. So you probably wouldn't want any food from Little Chef or anywhere else.

  36. Anonymous Coward

    My name really is charlie

    If you love me, you'll show it.

    Why is that so wrong?

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