I had a bit of a surprise early last year, whilst on Maternity leave. Aside from the daily shocks of being a new Mum. You know the ones, my baby has made a noise I’ve not heard before, how on earth am I supposed to change THAT nappy without making a huge mess?!!
I can remember a couple of months after my son was born in December 2013, I thought I’d have a peruse on ITV to find out what is on for kids in the afternoon these days. Perhaps I half expected to see an old episode of Fun House or the like. Nope, just Tipping Point, the game show with Bradley Walsh. No Neil Buchanan or Pat Sharp here.
Where are the kids TV programmes then? What do children watch these days? I know there’s often studies produced and articles written explaining how children shouldn’t watch a lot of TV but surely the powers that be haven’t removed kids TV in its entirety? It would be a sad state of affairs for the new generation if this is the case.
In actual fact, I discovered, there are designated TV channels for kids these days. Channels that show kids TV programmes ALL DAY, EVERY DAY!
This made me feel a little nostalgic and perhaps slightly sad. As a child of the 80’s/90’s I used to love nothing more than coming home from school and sticking CITV (not forgetting BBC1 either!) on at 15:25 for my dose of TV before tea.
So, with that in mind, prepare to take a little walk down memory lane as I regress back to the 90’s.
Everyone had their favourites? You might’ve been a fan of Chucklevision (to me, to you) or perhaps the rather strange Australian programme Round The Twist; even the theme tune was a bit eclectic, shall I say.
This got me thinking, how do the TV shows kids are currently watching, shape up against the ones I watched back in the day?
My son’s absolute favourite show on CBeebies is Twirlywoos. This features a family of what I can only assume are birds, discovering new and interesting things. For sure, there’s an educational aspect to it I guess, but it ain’t no match for Playdays in terms of pre-school entertainment!
Ah, Playday’s. Will it be the Why bird stop or will it be the roundabout stop? The anticipation was just too much!
Over to ITV now and how could we ever forget Rosie and Jim (or Dosey & Dim and my Dad affectionately referred to them as)? The, quite frankly, frightening looking dolls who resided on the Ragdoll boat and would come alive to explore their surroundings.
Back to CBeebies now and while that Mr Maker is quite a talented chap, does he really need to travel the globe and take his artistic flair to the far reached ends of the world? Just how much has the BBC’s budget increased by over the last 3 decades? We didn’t have Tony Hart clocking up the air miles in Hartbeat did we?
Talking of shows of a creative nature, Art Attack just has to have a mention. I’ve never been the artistic type (not for want of trying mind you), so try as I might to perfect the arty tasks, I just ended up looking like I’d had a fight with a tin of paint and lost. Sad times.
Swashbuckle is another popular show with my son. I can’t bear it, it’s far too loud and shouty for me (showing my age now) and as far as I’m concerned, nothing will ever take Fun House‘s crown when it comes to kids game shows. What a Friday treat that was!
It wasn’t always fun mind you, there was a slight element of fright. Who can forget the almost chilling Demon Headmaster ? Just hearing the theme tune now at the age of 29, sends a shiver down my spine!
Delving even further into the past with this one, who can remember the incredibly low budget Button Moon? Apparently my favourite as a pre-schooler, so my mum tells me. I bought it on DVD a while ago for my little boy. I recently decided to put it on, and full of hope, I anticipated him to sit there and watch it in awe. My hopes were soon dashed, he looked at it in total bemusement. He probably recognised the Heinz Baked Bean tin containing what he’d had for lunch in all honesty.
OK, so these days TV programmes for children are bolder, they’re graphically honed more than their predecessors. However, I truly believe I grew up in the best era for kids TV (am I bias?). Rubbing a 50 pence piece in the vain hope I might be granted a few wishes was something I have no shame in admitting I did as a kid, inspired by none other than The Queen’s Nose.
Back to the present day now and In The Night Garden is a programme I will never get my head around, no matter how many times I’ve tried. I’m of the opinion Upsy Daisy is a bit of a hussy, lifting her skirt on the regular and constantly kissing Iggle Piggle. And as for that ‘hand circling trick’ that features at the beginning of the show, well let me tell you now, that has NEVER worked when trying to get my son to go to sleep.
Alas, the recently revamped Teletubbies has become a firm favourite in my house, much to my dismay. It’s something I had hoped would stay in the late 90’s, along with Sunny Delight orange juice (amongst other things).
If you need further assurance that the television programmes my generation grew up watching are far superior than the shows our kids watch today, then look no further than this.
I rest my case.