Yesterday I pondered on why The Family Channel website is blocked outside Canada. I've now found that CBBC, too, is blocked in other countries.
The lack of diversity is another subject Newsround Blog raised with the Family Channel last year when they invited some of The Next Step stars to answer questions via Twitter. I was mainly concerned about the failure to portray gay characters. And, of course, a recent survey indicates that a lot more young people consider themselves bisexual or gay than had been previously thought.
There is an attitude amongst those involved in children's TV whereby, whenever the subject of lesbian and gay relationships is broached, they just clam up. So my attempts to get answers from anyone at the Family Channel, or working on The Next Step were doomed from the start. But that doesn't mean we should give up trying. After all, it's less than fifty years since an interracial kiss caused outrage in some States when it was broadcast on American TV.
Towards the end of series 2 of The Next Step West told Emily how he had feelings for her, but in the first episode of series 3 we find out that 'Wemily' won't happen; they'll just remain friends:-
Emily: After my [knee] injury there's been a lot going on, and my mind just isn't on him right now.
West: I realise now, that with all the drama that's happening with her, and with the troupe, I know that there's really no hope for this relationship.
Emily: But I still really want to be friends, so I'm not really sure what to say to him.
West: All I know is that Emily needs a friend, and I'm going to be the best friend that I can be for her.
Emily: I think we both understand what's going on ... we're friends and that's it.