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Tuesday, November 4, 1997 Published at 07:13 GMT


Children's TV criticised

Children's BBC presenters

Cartoons have increased their share of children's television programmes, a Broadcasting Standards Commission report says.

The rise in animation is restricting time set aside for factual and drama productions aimed at children, it says.

The report focuses on a fall in factual programmes on ITV and a drop in pre-school output on BBC1.

The Commission's chairwoman, Lady Howe, said: "Children have the right to access a varied and diverse diet of programming and although they will watch material aimed at the family they also enjoy programmes made specially for them.

"The tradition of public service broadcasting was to encourage the child's development as a good citizen, with critical abilities and an interest in a wide range of issues."

Children's BBC Executive Roy Thompson said the Corporation did not understand the Commission's comments regarding pre-school output.

"The BBC is now showing more pre-school programming than before," he said.

[ image: Aimed at two to five year olds, the Teletubbies have attracted criticism]
Aimed at two to five year olds, the Teletubbies have attracted criticism
"Teletubbies is longer and more ambitious than its predecessors."

He added: "The BBC is committed to providing a range of quality programmes for children of all ages and broadly welcomes the findings of the BSC report.

"We completely agree with Lady Howe's assertion that children have the right to access varied programming and welcome the fact that the report has recognised that the BBC is 'the main home for factual programming' and continues to maintain a strong drama output.

"The BBC has more hours of children's programmes than ever before and has maintained its provision of originated programmes.

"There are more animations but these are carefully scheduled to carry audiences on to other genres."

ITV was not immediately available for comment.

The Commission's survey found cartoons take up 35% of BBC1's children's output and 40% of ITV's.

It said ITV's factual programming for children fell to 7% from 22% while ITV children's drama went down from 23% to 12%.

Pre-school output dropped on BBC1 from 18% in 1981 to 7% last year, according to the report.

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