Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Children's TV On Trial - The Director Dictates...

Graham Kibble-White reveals some fascinating facts about the making of the 1980s episode of the BBC4 show Children's TV on Trial:

"... the director then says, "Thank you." I say another bit. "Thank you. Now I just want you to say ..." and she tells me what to say. Phew, the cynical '80s, eh? The '70s weren't quite like this. But we warm up, and while always rather stilted, we get into something that feels a bit more like a conversation. "I want you to say that American shows had a negative impact on British children's programmes in the 1980s". "Well, I don't really think they did," I reply, taking a stand mere minutes after disgracefully parroting back some guff she's fed to me about a Pigeon Street episode I'd never seen (they open a vegetarian café, apparently). But, here, I'm salving some small sense of dignity. I'm not just going to say anything. Although I do then concede that perhaps buying in episodes of He-Man dissuaded British broadcasters from commissioning their own fare. I'm guessing that bit won't make the cut, but my musings on Pigeon Street's eatery probably will."

Fascinating. The programme's director directs the contributor to give a negative view on 1980s children's programming that is not his own.

Meanwhile, the 70's edition was Cloud Cuckoo Land - obviously prepared by smug middle class types who lived in a cosy post 60's afterglow in the 70s - or who weren't even born.

Increasingly, the BBC seeks to mould and dictate our view of the recent past, always with the 70s bathed in loveliness. Pathetic.