BBC Children controllers call for new programming collaborations and partners

BBC Children commissioners have invited northern talent to collaborate on future programming as the department prepares for its MediaCityUK move later this year.

Speaking at a Meet the Commissioners briefing in Salford today, CBeebies and CBBC controllers Kay Benbow and Damian Kavanagh unveiled a raft of new programming and invited collaborations with creative agencies, animators and writers from the North.

Benbow outlined aims for the new year to make programming "more tangible and accessible" for children and parent viewers, whilst taking on board "new ideas, writers and cultures". Despite today's news of jobs losses in BBC online departments, she revealed plans to grow the CBeebies digital arm, hinting at future social media campaigns aimed at parents.

Kavanagh revealed new CBBC projects were planned involving comedians Johnny Vegas, Vic Reeves and Eddie Izzard and emphasised the importance of taking programming to viewers by filming shows around the country.

Both controllers said the BBC was actively seeking content pitches from companies or individuals for both television and online use. Kavanagh said it was important for those pitching to "be brave" and added that further internal collaborations between fellow MediaCityUK departments like BBC Learning and Sport were likely in the coming year.

Benbow concluded that the forthcoming move to Salford would make the department "work better with our peers and community of viewers."

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