Moves to shift the BBC’s output of children’s programming from mainstream channels such as BBC1 and BBC2to audience specific brands such as CBBC and CBeebies have been criticised for ‘ghettoising’ children by the co-creator of the Teletubbies.
Anne Wood ‘s outspoken attack comes amidst a wider shift to digital by the public service broadcaster, which it claims better serves audiences – but also cuts costs.
Speaking to the radio Times Wood said: “It ghettoises children's programmes. It is a completely different attitude to the one that scheduled Magic Roundabout before the 5.40pm news.
“On the one hand it is inevitable. But it is dismissive of children. There is a certain amount of overlooking of the fact that children's programmes do get a wider audience than people are aware of … I have frequently had letters from older people who have enjoyed my programmes as much as children do. A lot of the reason older people like to watch children's programming is because it is life-enhancing."
Joe Godwin, head of BBC Children's, countered: "Our young viewers are our priority and the vast majority of children in the UK already tune in to CBeebies and CBBC to find their favourite BBC children's programmes. Far from being a 'cynical' move, we're just following where our audience has already gone.”