Children’s Television

Today, The Guardian has reported on a funding crisis that is battering the production of children’s programmes in the UK, threatening one of British television’s best traditions.

And now, Ed Vaizey, the new culture minister, has vowed to look investigate the problem.

But is it already doomed?

For some years now, funding in children’s television programmes has fallen. In strak figures, in 2004 there was £50m a year more being pumped into the sector.

ITV no longer broadcast children’s TV on terrestrial telly.

Colette Bowe, the chair of Ofcom, told MPs last year: “We are sleepwalking into a situation where we do not have enough UK-generated content of high quality for our own kids.”

This is a crying shame when you think of the rich heritage we have as a nation when it comes to making children’s shows… all of Oliver Postgate’s stuff, Roobarb, Grange Hill, Danger Mouse, Wallace and Gromit, The Wombles, all the Gerry Anderson shows… and on and on I could go.

The knock-on from this is that UK animation studios are losing work to overseas companies who benefit from tax breaks.

Bob the Builder now lives in Los Angeles.

So is TV for British children doomed? The future looks bleak.

  • BBC One
  • BBC Two
  • BBC Three
  • ITV1
  • ITV2
  • 4
  • E4
  • Film4
  • More4
  • Five
  • Fiver
  • Sky1