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Last Updated: Wednesday, 19 October 2005, 10:30 GMT 11:30 UK
CBBC agrees to watch its language
Dick and Dom
The Dick and Dom show will be among the programmes monitored
Use of slang is to be monitored on the BBC's children's channel CBBC, after complaints about the amount of poor language used on air.

CBBC controller Alison Sharman has promised to "keep a close watch on the use of bad grammar so as not to undermine standards of English".

Last year, an independent report into the channel criticised "crass" presentation and bad grammar.

Dick and Dom in Da Bungalow is among the programmes featured on the channel.

'Understandable vernacular'

Ms Sharman was called to a meeting of the BBC's board of governors to respond to the criticisms in the report by Professor Patrick Barwise of the London Business School.

Commissioned by the government's Department for Culture, Media and Sport, it complained about the "tastelessness and cruelty" of some programmes and cited words such as "ain't" and "you was" as examples of poor grammar.

Earlier this summer the Professional Association of Teachers heard complaints that the Dick and Dom show - which is in the running for a children's Bafta for the second year running - undermined attempts to maintain standards of spoken English.

In her reply at July's meeting, Ms Sharman promised to ensure that monitoring language on the channel was a priority.

Scene from Grange Hill
Grange Hill also features on CBBC

Minutes of the meeting have been published on the BBC governors' website.

A BBC spokesman said the governors were satisfied that CBBC management were "working together" with the channel, which also features programmes such as Grange Hill, Basil Brush and Chucklevision.

"We expect high standards from our presenters and they also need to be able to use a vernacular which children understand and identify with," the spokesman added.

Retired teacher Joyce Watts complained to the association's conference in the summer about the "fast, loud speech" on the Dick and Dom show where "all the words run into one and cannot be understood", The Times reported.

She said interviewers would ask guests "What d'ya like best" and "What's ya faverit number?" and said children's work was suffering due to them spelling words as they thought they were pronounced.

But Julia Strong, of the National Literacy Trust, told the paper that children would not watch television that was too "stiff and formal".

The Barwise report was commissioned by the BBC to look into all its digital and radio services.

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