The Wombles of… Central Park!

“New UK programmes account for just 1% of all children’s television broadcast in the UK. Pact, the association for companies that make television programmes, is campaigning for UK children to have access to more programming that reflects their own lives.”
Quote taken from the PACT website

So what are they doing to campaign to change this situation? Visit the Save British Kids TV!* site and you will find those eco-warriors, the Wombles of Wimbledon Common have been transported to Central Park:

OK, quiz time. How many of the ‘real’ owners of the voices can you spot? My namesake from Family Guy provides one of the voice overs, but I don’t recognise all of them.

On a more serious note, whilst I support he idea of producing quality TV for children, I don’t think that all imported “kids TV” is junk, or that all home-grown “kids TV” is great. I still have very fond memories of watching whimsical Czechoslovakian cartoons as a child. I used to love Sesame Street. Imported programmes can be high quality and can reflect children’s lives. In fact, isn’t “kids TV” an imported term?

Looking closely, I note that the 1% refers only to new UK programmes – so repeated UK programmes aren’t included. Hmm, I smell carefully massaged statistics here. 1% does seem very low, but I am somewhat suspicious as to how the figure was arrived at. What is a new programme? One shown for the very first time? If it is repeated later in the day, or week, is it still new the second time it is shown?

I do support the idea of quality children’s programmes being produced in the UK, but I am concerned that this campaign seems to be based on a rather misleading statement. What does everyone else think?

*Apostrophe Police, please note: I know that “Kids TV” [sic] has an apostrophe, I’m quoting their title here!

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