The 90s was a great era for kids’ TV. We had got to the point where the presenters were more like your equals or peers, as opposed to teachers imparting their wisdom and educating you. More regional accents and backgrounds than ever before were paving the way for more acceptance among the young.
This also led to important strides such as the employment of presenters with disabilities and programmes embracing children with special needs.
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Children’s telly has often led the way in matters of equality, with grown-up TV playing catch-up. Kids’ television was getting cheekier in many ways, too, with more anarchic offerings becoming part of the norm.
The digital switchover had not yet occurred, which also had many implications for kids’ telly. Budgets for UK kids’ programming were often bigger, which boosted content and quality.
Although there were dedicated non-terrestrial children’s channels, there was a lot less on offer back then and, with less YouTube/social-media content vying for attention, programming felt less “diluted”.
It was an era that embraced both a little bit of the straightness and discipline of yesteryear and also the progressiveness and choice of today. The best of all worlds.
By Konnie Huq