Disturbing news from the BBC. SaveKidsTV reports CBBC is being required to make 5 per cent cuts over the next five years — a drop from an annual spend of £108 million now to £98 million in 2012.
As a result of this and the lack of in house commissions, one in five jobs in the department are likely to go. Richard Deverell, Controller CBBC, announced that fewer programmes would have to be made but that there would be no reduction in quality or originality. Programmes would simply need to be capable of sustaining multiple repeats.
At a time when OFCOM has highlighted the decline in indigenous kid’s programmes and noted that the BBC is the major provider of what remains, SKTV says this is alarming. The role of the BBC as the bastion of PSB provision and the setter of standards is crucial. This seems to be the wrong signal to be sending at this time.
“Save Kids’ TV is an organisation that we shouldn’t need,” says the campaign’s patron, author Philip Pullman. “We shouldn’t need it, because we should be able to trust the television channels to create and broadcast excellent programmes for our children, programmes which reflect the lives of modern British children in the society they know as well as exploring the imaginative, the funny and the fascinating.
“The fact that such programmes are almost impossible to make today is not due to any lack of talent; it’s due to the dogmatic insistence that profit is more important than anything else, and that cutting costs and increasing profits must prevail over every other consideration. But there are things that cannot be measured by financial yardsticks, and one of these is the well-being of children.
“Children need the best of everything, and that includes the best of television – not the cheapest. Save Kids’ TV is working to make sure they get it.”
• There is a Save Kids TV petition on the Downing Street website. SaveKidsTV needs a lot more signatures so please do what you can to spread the word and get people to sign up.