And now for something completely different…. Is Blue Peter set to be dropped?

February 11, 2009 by  
Filed under News

news_tv_web2With a seemingly immortal string of pets (they always seem to just magically vanish, don’t they?), charmingly oblivious cultural viewpoint and Maguyver-like ability to turn 3 toilet rolls into a fully working replica of the USS Enterprise (replete with lasers), it’s safe to say that Blue Peter is a British institution.

So it’s sad to hear that with viewing figures declining, the show is under threat of getting the axe. Thanks to Neighbours’ emigration to Five, the Beeb decided to plonk saggy-faced Anne Robinson and The Weakest Link in its place on BBC1, prompting a re-scheduling that has seen Blue Peter’s ratings slide.

BBC trustee Mehmuda Mian said: “We found that audience levels have fallen since children’s programmes were moved earlier in BBC One’s afternoon schedule. We have asked the executive to address this decline and, as far as possible, to make sure that programmes for children are given priority at times children are likely to be watching.”

Now, we’re no socio-political masterminds, but the fact that children are more likely to turn on (or be turned on) by Anne Robinson’s authoritarian verbal spanking than they are the cuddly-wuddly charms of a live pooping elephant is a rather telling sign of what today’s youth really want to watch.

As dated and culturally out-of-touch as it is, we’re still hoping ol’ Peter doesn’t raise the white flag just yet – we still haven’t got our badges dagnammit!

Emma Thompson says:

I’ve three children aged 7, 15 & 22 and so have seen my fair share of Blue Peter episodes over the years. It used to be a fun program full of interesting things that excited kids. These days it’s been turned into a bit of a topical news and current affairs program with all the emphasis on that ‘newsround’ section and the rest of the program made a filler advertising for “coming up in newsround”. The political correctness overtones have also got a bit silly these days.

Focusing on news and whatevers in the newspapers that week may be interesting to the show’s presenters and producers maybe, but not to kids! I think the show could really do well again if it had someone come in who realised who their audience was and focused the show towards the audience rather than themselves.