January 28th 2010
A couple of days ago in my daily newspaper there was a piece about the state of children’s TV in Britain today, a summary of which is that it is underfunded. No surprises there I guess, children don’t vote after, and although they are powerful consumers times have been tough and even the little people’s spending habits have been effected. However it seems one of the main reason for the lack of funding has been caused by the advertising ban of sugary sweets, drinks and snacks which meant that the lucrative advertising market literally dried up over night and the commercial stations in the UK stopped making any more home grown children’s TV, instead they buy it all in from the USA, and our children are now feed a daily diet of Hannah Montana, High School Musical and Star Wars clone wars.
Now don’t get me wrong, I actually like much of the US imports and as far as my son is concerned the only programme worth watching is the aforementioned Star Wars Clone, bloody wars….I think I hear the swish of those damn light savers in my sleep now! Anway….I digress….. In the UK the only makers of home grown quality kids TV is the BBC, and funding for that is tiny too. Even on CBeebies (the BBC dedicated young children’s TV channel) the American imports are starting to creep in and so it seems to me that the nanny state strikes again and by killing off the lucrative advertising market they have in fact killed off kids TV. Do we really believe that McDonalds and Coke advertising etc was bad for our kids…..bullshit, it gave them something to moan and nag us about but then it’s your choice whether you go and buy it for them isn’t it?
The point is, those adverts on TV have not been replaced with ‘healthy’ alternatives, I have yet to see an advert from the Fruit and Veg Growers of the UK, or the one by the Water Authorities encouraging my kids to drink plenty of H2O instead they have been replaced with a constant round of, ‘free’ loans, bingo, banks and insurance companies! Feeding our kids a diet of ‘free money’ and bargain loans and a bit of gambling mixed in too. My son even said to me the other day. Mummy, if we ring that number they will give us £3000 for free……as you can imagine, once I had managed to stop choking on my coffee we had a serious chat about that one!
Now it may sound like the point of my post is a mini rant about the Nanny State but it’s not, and my American readers need to bear with me for a moment here, you shall be rewarded in the end I can assure you. The real reason for my post is memories. You see, reading the above article made me think back to kids TV in my day, and fond memories they were too. Who can forget Play School with Jemima, Big Ted, Little Ted and through the round window, or Rainbow, with the decidedly dodgy Geoffrey, Bungle and loud mouth Zippy, or maybe you liked Sooty and Sweep, Trumpton, Wacky Races, He Man or the truly wonderful Dangermouse, with his side kick Penfold and a theme tune so fabulous it nearly got my top spot here. Then we also had, Grange Hill, and Swap Shop, on a Saturday morning, Blue Peter and Newsround (which is still going strong along with BP) I have fond memories of them all, some for the content but many for their theme tune. So in a nostalgic moment I ventured into YouTube and relived some childhood moments. Only to find out that there is one that stands out for me, takes my top spot for kids TV theme tunes. It brings memories flooding back and I can’t help but smile and sing along to it, and it’s not just the music it was a true piece of classic TV but without doubt it does have a theme tune to die for. They Don’t make them like this anymore. And guess what, it’s American……LOL
Ps…Share YOUR favourite one with me……..[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=42cRLsZ4Qmw]