A rant about children’s programmes

Here’s something I wrote for the Spectator about children’s programmes. It’s not about booze though there is a mention of going to the pub at the end.

I think I might be a bad parent; whenever my wife is out, I plonk our two-year-old daughter in front of the television. The other day we watched a rainbow nation of children marching around the British countryside singing ‘Let’s make sure we recycle every day’, and I realised that something has changed in children’s programming since I was little. These young recyclers are from a show called Green Balloon Club, which is ostensibly a wildlife programme, but the song had more in common with one of those Dear Leader dirges you see in North Korea. It wasn’t education, it was propaganda.

Carry on reading 

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About Henry

Henry Jeffreys was born in London. He has worked in the wine trade, publishing and is now a freelance journalist. He specialises in drink and his work has appeared in the Spectator, the Guardian, the Economist, the Financial Times, the Oldie and Food & Wine magazine. He was a contributor to the Breakfast Bible (Bloomsbury 2013) and his book Empire of Booze: British History through the Bottom of a Glass was published in November 2016.
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4 Responses to A rant about children’s programmes

  1. Tania Ahsan says:

    Hey Henry, the link is incorrect. I couldn’t find it on the Spectator site either. Would love the correct link as the beginning sounds as though you’re about to make a point that I will agree with and snort with laughter at. Thanks.

  2. Chaz Folkes says:

    I like the concept of ‘visual tartrazine’, describes a lot of children’s animation perfectly. I remember the real thing pretty clearly from the 1980s. There would be children who were under strict orders not to be allowed any of the orange squash at school otherwise the teachers would be pulling them off the walls and furniture afterwards. A sort of kids’ Special Brew, but tasting slightly worse.

  3. Great piece, H – I also agree that many current children’s programmes are choking in over-earnestness, and lacking in humour. Love your comparison to the North Korean dirges!!!

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