Russell T Davies criticises demise of children’s television

Russell T DaviesTelevision writer Russell T. Davies has criticised the decline of children’s television.

The writer was critical of the decline of children’s television in an interview with The Observer. Although better known these days for his work on adult dramas such as Doctor Who, Torchwood and Queer as Folk the writer began his writing career in children’s television. He wrote for the BAFTA award-winning Granada series Children’s Ward before moving to the BBC’s children’s department where he created Dark Season (which starred a very young Kate Winslet) and Century Falls.

“I am also amazed that people don’t recognise the talent, genius, of children’s writers, for example, Andrew Davenport. The creator behind Teletubbies and In the Night Garden is up there, in my opinion, with Tom Stoppard, Samuel Beckett, but no one puts him there. It’s the same with Jacqueline Wilson, whose books have led to the wonderful Tracy Beaker dramas.” – Russell T Davies
speaking to The Observer

The writer was also critical of ITV and what he saw as its abandoning of the CITV brand telling The Observer ‘The most shocking thing I have seen is that, apparently unnoticed, five years ago ITV dropped children’s programmes. There is now the complete absence of children’s programmes made by ITV on CITV.’ That’s a claim ITV denied to The Observer pointing out it was still producing and airing children’s television.

Children’s television has been under more scrutiny in recent years with heavy criticism of the reliance on imports rather than original content. However, children’s dramas such as The Sarah Jane Adventures, which was created by Davies and starred the late Elisabeth Sladen, have been praised by critics and champions of the genre. Davies is currently writing a new drama for CBBC titled Aliens Vs Wizards.