Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Some six weeks ago I contacted the Director of BBC Children's to alert him of my concerns about historical distortion on CBBC's Leonardo. I didn't hear back at the time, so last Tuesday, 24th May, I asked whether he would like to say what future plans are in the pipeline to make BBC Children's inclusive and diverse-friendly. Unfortunately I've had no response to the email, despite a reminder. This is the substantive text of my email -

I recently heard from a school in London about their excellent work during this year's LGBT History Month. Their email included some information about a training course they're running in a few days' time. Here is part of my reply -

Thanks for the email with the YouTube video about the wonderful work you're doing at Stoke Newington School. It would be nice to see your work complemented by inclusiveness in the media, and kids' TV in particular. We live in hope, of course, but Joe Godwin's repeated assurances to myself, to Schools Out and to other LGBT groups have not resulted in any perceptible improvement - in fact quite the reverse has happened recently. The new CBBC 'Leonardo' series is, in my view, both a deliberate misrepresentation of the historical Leonardo's sexual orientation and a betrayal of today's lesbian and gay kids.

As you can see, I'm worried about the direction BBC Children's is going. In my blog on 6th May 2011 I wrote "CBBC's Leonardo series is contrary to everything LGBT History Month stands for, quite apart from also being at odds with the BBC's Mission, Values and Public Purposes."

I intend to write more about this in my blog at the weekend or early next week, so I'd be very interested to hear your future plans, if any, for making CBBC inclusive and diverse-friendly. I would like, if you give permission, to publish what you say on my blog.

There are a couple of other issues.

I've now received FOI lists of your expenses for the last year or so, and noted that taxi fares in Canada seem somewhat excessive. Especially one single journey on 13th June 2010, which set back the licence payer £409.27p. However your flight to the Banff World TV Festival 2010 isn't listed, and neither is the hotel accommodation. Please could you kindly let me know who met those costs?

Finally, I've been waiting some time for details relating to the Fantasy Football Leaderboard scores.

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