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Saturday, 19 May 2012

BBC 'Axe' Blue Peter

It's the end of an era- just another sign of the times?
Okay, so first thing's first, let's get something out of the way. Technically, the BBC's flagship children's entertainment programme Blue Peter hasn't been outright cancelled by the television broadcasters. What's happened instead is that the show has now been moved from its regular BBC1 afternoon slot into a slot on the Freeview digital channel CBBC. What does this mean in principle for the series, its hosts Helena Skelton and Barney Harwood and its production team? In all honestly, probably very little, provided that kids find their way over to the new channel without any hassle. All the same, though, there could be a dangerous precedent set here- if the BBC are currently deciding that Blue Peter is liable to be switched over to a 'kids-only' channel due to their current financial difficulties, then how long will it be before it starts subjecting alleged kids' dramas like Doctor Who and Merlin to this kind of treatment? This is a personal issue here really, but it's one that the distributors need to be aware of before they ditch some of their biggest rating hitters from their mainstream channels, and although BP certainly wasn't one of them, that this will be the first time in fifty eight years that the programme has aired on a channel other than BBC1 certainly doesn't bode well for where this iconic broadcasting staplemate heads in the future. Still, at least younger fans of Blue Peter will be able to catch the show now on CBBC every Thursday rather than losing it altogether!

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