The days of quality children's programming such as Play School, Dr Who and the more recent Grange Hill and Byker Grove are numbered, according to research by the European Broadcasting Union. The study says this is because cheap cartoons and American imports are squeezing out factual and drama shows for children.
The report, The Integrity and Erosion of Public Television for Children, argues that children are treated as consumers first and as developing individuals second.
There is an increasing emphasis on grabbing children's attention quickly and converting programme characters into toys, games, videos and posters. The researchers also called for tighter controls on advertising aimed at under-18s.