Sunday, May 15, 2011

Friday Download is possibly a sign that children's TV is spreading its wings, perhaps appealing to a wider range of kids including teenagers - a group which has, in recent years, been poorly served by the BBC.

The thinking behind Friday Download owes something to Channel 4's programmes for teens, but it seems CBBC is still reluctant to stray too far from its namby-pamby attitude.

On Friday 6 May 2011, the so-called 'TV download' segment - a selection of recommended television programmes presented by Ceallach - included this about Leonardo -

Ceallach: .. OK, the next show is Leonardo which is on CBBC. This show is based on Leonardo da Vinci as a teenager. Now some of you may know Leonardo da Vinci was a very very famous artist ....... but this is him as a teenager and what life was like for him hundreds and hundreds of years ago. It's a really factual show. It's really enjoyable to watch. You've got all his friends - Machiavelli, Lorenzo. And it's about him as a teenager doing his drawings and making some inventions, but at the same time people are trying to take his inventions. And it's all about what he goes through in the town of Florence. Let's take a look (video excerpt from Leonardo - Episode 6 - The Lightning Box)

Ceallach, for one, believes that Leonardo is factual (see previous blog for context,) and Friday Download did nothing to disabuse kids of that belief - in fact it reinforced it. Kids who take the trouble to do a few minutes research on the Internet - say by checking out Newsround Blog - know the truth about Leonardo da Vinci, and of course the truth about CBBC.

Why the title Friday Download? Well who doesn't like Friday, being as it's the start of the weekend. And everyone believes downloading is popular with kids. So put the two together and, hey presto, you get Friday Download.


Newswatch, on Friday dealt with the BBC move to Salford, but surprisingly failed to mention the recent news that Peter Salmon's second-in-command, Richard Deverell, has pulled out of the venture.

Peter Salmon was left with the last word on Newswatch -

Raymond Snoddy: You've managed to persuade about 55% of the staff involved to move to Salford, but isn't it a bit odd that some of the top brass like yourself haven't moved here permanently?

Peter Salmon: Well a lot of us are in the process of moving. I'm renting, for instance, this year and I'm buying a home next year. Lots of my senior colleagues are already here - they've bought their homes. We don't tend to hear stories of BBC bosses committing to buy homes. It just tends to be the odd individual who's still renting. That's because a lot of us are, you know, in a particular place in terms of our family lives. In terms of kids at school, all the rest of it, partners etcetera etcetera. But we're all very committed to this project. Inevitably bosses come and go just like staff. Presenters come and go just like staff. That's our business model. We encourage fluid careers, but we're very committed to this Centre.

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