Flicking through the TV channels on a Saturday morning, I never fail to be surprised by the absence of children’s programming. There is an attempt to amuse the nippers on BBC2 and about half an hour’s worth of kid’s TV on ITV – but nothing compared to the lengthy magazine shows of my youth. Where once I could snuggle up in my pyjamas and watch Pip Schofield talk to a hand puppet on Going Live, now there are more and more cookery shows (Saturday Kitchen, Rachel’s Favourite Food for Living, Saturday Cooks!) Who is looking to learn recipes first thing on a weekend morning and why have children been relegated to marginal programming?
Taking a closer look at the children’s TV offered up on a Saturday morning, over 80% of the shows screened on CBBC are repeats, while the percentage is nearer 90% on Five. I know that kids might not rally against such details – but if this statistic were true of adult programming there would be a public outcry. Why should children be fed recycled shows and their entertainment treated so flippantly?