Now the Children's Media Conference 2011 begins on Wednesday. This year David Puttnam is to give the opening keynote speech on the theme of Thinking Differently. Lord Puttnam believes the UK is well placed to develop into a world powerhouse in "new ways of approaching learning for young people."
The BBC Mission is to "enrich people's lives with programmes and services that inform, educate and entertain," and of course the Corporation is already making some excellent educational kids' programmes which meet that remit. Horrible Histories is one award-winning example, but CBBC is also very good with nature and wildlife programmes. Other BBC children's programmes have somewhat less merit. MI High, for example, might have some 'pass-the-time' value but otherwise has very little going for it.
CBBC's dramatisation of the life of the young Leonardo da Vinci ends this evening. Few wouldn't have got its message that women were treated badly in the past. Racial equality was dealt with by making the programme colour-blind - in particular Niccolo Machiavelli was portrayed by a black actor. But when it comes to sexual orientation, Leonardo was a golden opportunity missed, and in that regard at least, it badly failed the BBC's audience.
Leonardo was filmed in South Africa - the country which overcame the evil of apartheid and last month co-sponsored a United Nations resolution on human rights violations based on sexual orientation and gender identity. How much will the Children's Media Conference theme of 'Thinking Differently' involve discussions to make children's TV inclusive for LGBT kids? Let's hope that delegates are bold enough to think differently and start tackling homophobic prejudice which, in recent times, has become rife in the showbiz/media world.