Yesterday, the 50th anniversary of Blue Peter also saw the start of a new CBBC reality series - Election - presented by Angellica Bell. It seems like a kids version of The Apprentice but with a political twist. The idea has promise, but time will tell whether it lives up to that promise.
Angellica began by asking the audience "If you ruled the world what would you do?" Some of the show's contestants provided suggestions e.g. dealing with knife crime - arrange that more people to have access to clean and safe drinking water - ensure every child had a bicycle - set up theatre groups and dance classes.
Sixteen kids from around the UK were selected by audition, and in the first episode they were whittled down to ten. These will reside in the Election 'Leadership House' and take part in various tasks to decide who has the qualities needed by political leaders. Each week we will see leadership skills put to the test, and Jonathan Dimbleby will be telling one unlucky kid that their campaign is over. The series will end with the final two candidates debating in the Palace of Westminster, and the ultimate winner will have the chance to meet the Prime Minister at No. 10 Downing Street and tell him their idea for making Britain a better place for kids.
My tip to win is Amardeep who was seen in a Newsnight-style debate excerpt saying "children have minds, and adults have to stop taking control all of the time..," but Izzie's policy to stop young people being stereotyped and give them a chance to express their individual identity is also in keeping with this blog's ethos.
Election is no substitute for proper coverage of youth politics such as the BYC and the UK Youth Parliament, to which the BBC gives little attention. Maybe Election is a step in the right direction, and I'll almost certainly have more to say about this series in the future.