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?
2 Press Gang
20 years ago ITV screened an amazing Steven Moffat-penned children's series called Press Gang. The inside track on a school's kids run newspaper it starred Julia Sawalha (as Lynda basically (Kelvin) Mackenzie in a mini skirt), Dexter Fletcher and the brilliant Paul Reynolds (what the ferret happened to him?). It was not only superbly scripted, brilliantly acted and daringly topical (they covered drugs, child abuse and more) mainly through the charactar of Lynda it showed journalists as heroes, publishing stories that exposed corruption, took on bullies and helped make school life better for all. Yet it also showed Lynda as a real person dealing with her own insecurities and hang ups. It was also full of dirty jokes too, which made it a lot more fun than Blue Peter. These days the BBC has another media themed kids programme - Scoop - in which a bumbling, incompetent, lazy journalist is invariably beaten to his stories by his canine chum, the brilliantly named Hacker. To make amends the BBC should buy the rights to Press Gang re run the original Press Gang and commission a reunion, where Lynda (quite possibly an alcoholic now) and Colin (obviously a banker) team up once more to save the nation from corrupt MPs, dodgy press barons, rioting gangs and morally bankrupt Catalan football teams.
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