Thursday, October 14, 2010

Once again, the BBC is looking for kids to take part in a new children's reality adventure series. This one is called Serious Explorers: Sir Walter Raleigh. As we've seen before with the CBBC Serious Series, participants have to be aged 12-15. Of course, needs must when the devil drives - so CBBC's target age range(6-12 yrs old) goes out the window.

Apparently CBBC are looking for eight young people to take part in an extreme adventure in the South American country of Guyana. As with Walter Raleigh, the expedition will sail across the Caribbean Sea from Trinidad & Tobago to the coast of Guyana. CBBC say they want young people who enjoy a challenge, care about animals and the environment and have the personality to come across well on camera. Applications by midnight tomorrow.

Not sure what they mean by a personality that comes across well on camera, but I think it's a safe bet that if, for example, a young lesbian applied, she would have pretty much zero chance of getting chosen for the expedition.

Basically homophobia is still the order of the day on BBC Children's. So much for the BBC Trust's recent instructions not to ignore or underserve particular audience groups.

Joe McElderry's single "Ambitions" was released at the start of this week, as was Pixie Lott's single "Broken Arrow."

Anyone notice that, since coming out as gay in July, Joe McElderry's been given hardly any coverage on CBBC? Just down to chance? No - there are just too many similar cases of BBC Children's keeping gay people and issues out of sight. Did you know Joe ran in the Great North Run in aid of the Teenage Cancer Trust? If you did, it won't have been the result of seeing it on any CBBC Newsround report.

But, in contrast, let's see what Pixie Lott's been up to, courtesy of Newsround today. This is from the 8.30am bulletin -

Hayley: So, Pixie Lott - y'know singer, superstar, X Factor judge and maybe Number 1 this weekend - well Newsround heard that she was going to be giving a special performance at the House of Commons. So we thought it only right to send press packer Tom along. (Tom's press pack report)

And you can find a review of Pixie's single here on Newsround's website. There is, at the time of writing, no review of Joe's new single.

Newsround - Ricky Investigates
Discrimination on CBBC - Definitely a good topic for Ricky Investigates. But it's never going to happen, so Newsround Blog will investigate instead. I've asked the Director of BBC Children's a few questions.

Regrettably homophobia isn't just confined to BBC Children's. The Corporation, as a whole, isn't the most diverse-friendly of UK institutions. Remember my blog earlier in the year, when I said that BBC bosses were none too pleased with Tomasz Schafernaker? Well now he's been taken off-screen. A similar thing happened when CBBC presenter Andrew Hayden-Smith wrote a piece for a gay mag. Not straight away, of course, that would be a bit too obvious. But, to be fair, gay people can also do quite well for themselves at the BBC.

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