Letter: Rolf Harris on TV

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The Independent Online
Sir: John Lyttle is wrong to view the departure of 'Dear Rolf Harris' from children's television as good riddance (26 January). The joy of television with Mr Harris was that he saw his programmes as a catalyst for children's self expression. He encouraged the progression from passive watching to related creative activities; as an example, watching a cartoon leads to drawing the main character, such as Mickey Mouse.

The basis for Mr Harris's criticism of large chunks of contemporary 'Kids' TV' is that the children who participate (whether at home or in the studio) are merely sitting and watching while the adult presenters decide and dictate the unfolding events. Mr Harris' take-home message of 'let's do/make something' has been replaced by wondering who will be gunged next week. There is a danger that such programmes prime today's children to become passive spectators, something Mr Harris could never have contemplated.

Yours faithfully

GEORGE HETHERSETT

Croydon, Surrey

26 January

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