Sunday, October 24, 2010

This year CBBC's TMi has moved from Saturday mornings to Friday evenings at 5.30pm. Guests in episode 1 of the new series on 10th September were boy band The Wanted, who will, incidentally, also be guests on next Friday's show. Amongst viewers' questions put to the lads were "Which member of The Saturdays would you most like to snog?" and "Who do you have a crush on?" The Saturdays, in case you don't know, is an all-girl band.

Joe McElderry was a guest last Friday. I'd be astonished if CBBC didn't get any similar viewers' questions to put to Joe, but given the channel's misogynistic, heterosexist and homophobic ethos, it came as no surprise that Sam & Mark steered well clear of anything related to romance, crushes or Joe's sexuality.

We saw exactly the same thing when Joe was perfunctorily interviewed by Leah for Newsround.

A comparison between CBBC these days and events years ago is very revealing. In both TMi Friday and the interviews of Andrew Hayden Smith and Alex Parks, we can see that, according to CBBC's ethos (see above) it's OK to talk about crushes and who you'd like to snog if you're perceived as straight, but never if you identify as lesbian or gay.

Former BBC Director-General Greg Dyke got a lot of flak for saying that the BBC is hideously white. But I don't think it would be untrue or unfair to say that CBBC is hideously heteronormative.

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