Preschool children don't understand the X-Files; they like Playdays and Rosie and Jim. Older children like - and always have liked - adult science fiction, as well as children's programmes such as Blue Peter. They did in the 1950s when they watched Doctor Who, and they did in the 1960s and 1970s when they watched Star Trek and Blake's Seven. School-aged children like more than one kind of programme, just as adults do.
But many children under 10, and nearly all under fives, cannot understand or relate to adult material. This is why they need a specialist children's service. This is why the largest concentrations of child viewers are still found between the hours of 3.30pm and 6pm - the hours of children's programmes, followed by Neighbours.
This was the message received, and by my observation, welcomed, by the BBC governors at the seminar.
Dr MAIRE DAVIES
London E4Reuse content