OFCOM, the British broadcasting regulator, has warned that British children's programs are being squeezed off the air by American kids shows. In a report, OFCOM observed that the commercial network ITV no longer produces children's programs at all, while Channel Five, another commercial network, has decreased its children's shows 58 percent. In a statement, OFCOM chief Ed Richards called for "a national debate on what measures, if any, can or should be taken" to combat the drain. Only the BBC, the report said, continues to produce a substantial number of kids' shows. In an interview with today's (Thursday) Daily Variety, Jocelyn Hay, chairman of the group Voice of the Listener and Viewer, said, "Unless swift action is taken to retrieve the situation, future generations will grow up with a Disneyfied view not only of the world but of their own culture and history." And in an interview with the London Times, former Monty Python member and film and stage producer Michael Palin commented, "Producing sympathetic, creative, entertaining and informative programs for [children] is a challenge which our broadcasters have risen to with great success. I urge them not to throw away this important opportunity to engage with children. To lose children's TV would be to lose some of our most inventive programs."




04/10/2007