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The ‘Save Kids’ TV’ viral film hits the BBC

Wombles with American accents feature in the latest part of the campaign to Save British Kids’ TV.

As part of its campaign to save British-made children’s programmes, PACT (the UK trade association representing independent film, TV, children’s, animation and interactive media companies) has released a viral film starring much-loved characters The Wombles.

The hilarious sketch, featuring the Bad Ass Wombles is set in Central Park, New York and aims to highlight the effects of US imports on children’s programming in the UK.

The viral, created by Clikflik and featuring the voices of Bernard Cribbins, Wayne Forester and Emma Tate has had great press coverage and recently made it onto the homepage of the BBC website.

To view the video please go to http://www.britishkidstv.com where you can also sign the petition. The BBC coverage can be seen at http://news.bbc.co.uk/ on OddBox – the week’s weirder videos.

The Society of Authors is a member supporter of Save Kids’ TV www.savekidstv.org.uk 

What is Save Kids’ TV?

Save Kids’ TV is a coalition of parents, producers, artists, educators and others concerned about screen-based media for children in the UK. It is allied to organisations representing the media industry, the audience and cultural groups in a campaign to persuade the Government to acknowledge the value of children’s television, and protect it in the face of growing financial pressures.

Why has the group formed?

In the Review of Children’s Broadcasting, Ofcom identified that parents feel strongly their children need television which reflects their own culture. But they’re concerned at how few programmes offer that. They’re right to be concerned.

Despite a proliferation of channels, providing thousands of hours of content per year, Ofcom’s report reveals that only 1% of those hours are new programmes made in the UK. Repeats and imported programmes fill the schedules.

Ofcom has also highlighted a huge funding gap that cannot be filled by commercial means. As advertising revenues decrease and Channel 4, ITV and FIVE desert the children’s audience, it’s clear the market will no longer provide the programmes UK children need and deserve. The BBC is also under pressure with budget cuts and threats to the children’s content on BBC ONE.

UK children need a variety of television programmes that reflect their culture, meet their developmental needs and entertain them. To ensure these programmes continue to be made in the UK, public funding needs to be found to support them. The children who loved Muffin the Mule are now grandparents.

Three generations have happy memories of how television enriched and empowered their childhoods with stories and games, reflections of their own lives and concerns, and a window on the wider world. Remember Rainbow, Tiswas, Magpie, Press Gang, Children’s Ward, How to and Art Attack? Let’s not deny the next generation their own stories and their own voices.

What is SKTV doing?

SKTV believes that the Government must intervene. It has developed a detailed proposal for the long-term, and supports the call for immediate tax-breaks for producers of children’s programmes. But the Government will only take action if put under public pressure. If you are concerned about the revelations in the Ofcom report and want to see a revival of the best TV for our children, please take action.

Take action

PACT has already drafted a letter and all you have to do is click on http://pact.co.uk/campaign/.

You will then be asked for your postcode, after which you will be able to review a pre-drafted letter before confirming that you would like to send it to your MP. This is then sent electronically.

If you have already sent this letter to your MP and have had a reply, please let us know. We would like to collate as many of these responses as we can, to find out how MPs are responding to this campaign.

In addition, if you have not already, please sign our petition to the Prime Minister on the number 10 website http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/kidstelevision/.

Finally, you can register your support and keep in touch with the campaign at: www.savekidstv.org.uk

Philip Pullman is Patron of Save Kids’ TV

“Save Kids’ TV is an organisation we shouldn’t need. We shouldn’t need it, because we should be able to trust television channels to create and broadcast excellent programmes for our children, programmes which reflect the lives of modern British children in the society they know, as well as exploring the imaginative, the funny and the fascinating.

The fact that such programmes are almost impossible to make today is not due to any lack of talent; it’s due to
the dogmatic insistence that profit is more important than anything else, and that cutting costs and increasing profits must prevail over every other consideration. But there are things that cannot be measured by financial yardsticks, and one of these is the well-being of children.

Children need the best of everything, and that includes the best of television – not the cheapest. Save Kids’ TV is working to make sure they get it.”

Want to learn more?

To learn more about our concerns, you can download our latest statement on public service children’s broadcasting or download the campaign flier to help spread the word.

Thank you for your support!