So the BBC is finally pulling the plug on showing kids programmes on mainstream channels like BBC 1 and if you want to entertain your youngsters you’ll now have to plonk them in front of CBBC or any one of about a hundred US channels.
In the general scheme of things this matters very little. It does however give me a cheesy hook to highlight five great kids programmes that quite frankly are wasted on the little blighters.
These five are all solid gold viewing for adults – some intentionally so, others just because they offer a snapshot of a fascinating period of time.
The number one is a current programme and if you don’t have kids you quite probably know nothing about it.
What would you add to the list?
1 Phineas and Ferb
The best animated US kids programme since, ooh, Scooby Doo and Wacky Races, Phineas and Ferb is a total work of genius. Each fifteen minute episode focuses on what a pair of school age kids,Phineas and Ferb, choose to get up to during their summer hols. There is also a bewilderingly brilliant supporting cast including an annoying sister (Candace), a pet platypus who leads a double life as a secret agent (Perry) and his arch enemy the inept Bond villain-esque Dr Doofenshmirtz. It may be aimed at kids, but there's a wicked under current of adult humour too. As for our heroes, Phineas is a 'can do' genius always coming up with cool ideas and brilliant ways to execute them, while Ferb is the super smart builder/tech guy with an eye to design. Ferb is also British too. Anyone else think that they might actually be the cartoon version of messrs Jobs and Ive? There's a strong British influence too in that Ferb and his dad are British and are both obsessed with 80s electronic music. This isn't too surprising as co-creator, Jeff "Swampy" Marsh, lived in London for many years and worked on (ulp) Postman Pat. Each show also has a musical interlude and so far the show has parodied everything from rap to power pop to 80s girl sounds (Ferb's mum was a one hit wonder from the decade). The show has countless very funny running gags, loads of celebrity guest appearances and... oooh just go and watch it!