Children’s TV shouldn’t be for idiots

My daughter Esme (two and a half) loves it when me and Karen read her Beatrix Potter stories. She has a full boxed set that her Granda bought her. She loves turning the pages and she knows some of the stories so well that she even attempts to recite them from memory as she’s too young to be able to read them herself. She knows books are precious and even wants to help put them back on the shelf after we’ve read them.

Imagine my delight to read in the Guardian that there was to be an ‘All new Peter Rabbit for the 21st century’. Brilliant, I thought, a children’s TV show that actually has really strong stories. Then I read the quotes from Chorion chairman Lord Alli and I have to confess that the air turned blue as I’ve rarely read such dumb comments.

What Lord Alli and Chorion mean by ‘updating’ is apparently dumbing them down to suit the lowest common denominator. All they are doing is taking Beatrice Potter’s fantastic characters such as Peter Rabbit and Tom Kitten and creating new and ‘appropriate’ storylines. According to Alli this means: ‘Peter Rabbit’s father being caught by the farmer and being baked into a pie is not going to be our first episode. We’ll be skipping over some chapters.’

So there you have it, Chorion is planning to make an anaemic and pointless show that will have no resonance whatsoever with children or parents who love Beatrix Potter’s beautiful tales and characters.


About Stuart Bruce

International communications consultant and PR trainer specialising in online public affairs, digital corporate communications, online PR and social media; frequent national media commentator and conference speaker.
  • http://www.beccacaddy.co.uk Becca Caddy

    I agree. This is awful, I was so proud to have (the proper) Beatrix Potter books lining my bookshelves as a child!

    This reminds me of the story that some secondary schools are dumbing down Shakespeare.

    Here’s a great example from an article in The Times about it:

    Shakespeare poetically describes the build up to the kiss between Romeo and Juliet in Act One, Scene Five. Romeo then kisses Juliet and declares:

    Thus from my lips, by thine, my sin is purg’d.’

    The climatic scene is reduced to the following in the CGP book:

    Juliet: What are you thinking about?
    Romeo: Oh, just moons and spoon in June.
    Juliet: Wow. Give us a snog then.

    There’s making literature more accessible and then there’s just out right crucifying it!

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