To highlight the shocking decline in British-made children’s programming using media and political channels, and force the government to create legislative change in the Digital Economy Act that will give Ofcom the powers to halt and steadily reverse the decline. The campaign was created on behalf of Anne Wood CBE, the creator of Teletubbies, In the Night Garden and Rosie and Jim, and the Ragdoll Foundation.
Areas of support
- Significant cross party political, industry and academic engagement, with the campaign raised with politicians in the House of Lords, House of Commons and with the Department for Culture Media and Sport.
- Working with the Producers Alliance for Cinema and Television (Pact) to table an amendment to the Digital Economy Bill (now Act) in the House of Lords by working with cross-party peers and supporters.
- Navigating the processes and procedures of the House of Lords to ensure the amendment’s success and support, including speech writing, briefing and advice on process.
- Extensive media relations programme targeted at regional, national print and broadcast media to raise awareness of the decline in British children’s television.
- Engagement with industry supporters, interested celebrities and children’s media groups to raise awareness of the campaign.
- The campaign successfully secured a legal change in the Digital Economy Act that gives the broadcast regulator Ofcom the power to make Public Service Broadcasters (ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5) invest more in UK-made children’s productions. The new regulation is designed to make broadcasters negotiate an appropriate settlement for children with the media regulator.
- The legal change in the House of Lords was led by Liberal Democrat peers Baroness Floella Benjamin (former presenter of Play School), Baroness Bonham-Carter (cousin of the actress Helena Bonham-Carter) and the frontbench Labour Party team. The campaign was also secured the backing of the Government, with Minister Lord Ashton of Hyde signing up to the change under pressure from campaigners.
- Significant cross-party support was also gained in the House of Commons including from members of the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee.
- The campaign received media coverage in the Telegraph, the Times, the Express, the Radio Times and the Daily Mail. Visit this link for further details of our coverage.
- Support was also received from a number of presenters and sector leaders including Gyles Brandreth, writer, broadcaster and former MP; Hannah 'Buffy' Pond, children’s TV presenter; Dame Colette Bowe, President of the Voice of the Listener and Viewer (VLV); Anna Home, Chair, Children's Media Foundation.
- So successful was the campaign that in December 2017, the Government announced it would be giving broadcasters including Channel 4 and ITV an extra £60m over the next three years to help them make more home-grown children's programmes. Read more here.