CiTV’s Anna Williamson on Children’s TV Anna Williamson 25 August, 2014 Kids, Parenting I was asked by a friend who lives in America to do a post on good English TV for children to watch when they’re abroad. The wonderful Anna Williamson from CiTV has done the perfect post for us. ‘Kids telly isn’t what it used to be‘…that’s what I hear over and over again. OK, we may not have the delightfully simple charm of Bagpuss, or the Saturday morning Mecca of Going Live anymore, but children’s television is still going strong and with the evolution of digital platforms, has merely evolved into a big bucks arena with tens of dedicated channels all jostling for viewers and a decent position on the ‘600’s’ channel listing page. As a children’s TV presenter for over 10 years, and I’m delighted to say, I’m still going strong, I have not only seen some incredible top rating shows come and go, I have also been blessed to have hosted a few myself. The Bafta nominated Scary Sleepover for CiTV, Nickelodeon’s number 1 slime fest, Camp Orange, and GMTV Kids weekend extravaganza, ‘Toonattik’, my particular favourites and most notable successes. Some of my best friends have been made through coming through the ranks of children’s telly, and I’m blessed that those friendships are still going as strong as their varied careers in the biz. Children’s television today offers some absolute gems and regardless of whether I have a little person to enjoy it with or not, I’m still an avid viewer of all that’s on offer – it’s a hard habit to break, haha! For the really little ones, you can’t get any more old school and ‘real’ as Channel 5′s Milkshake. Every morning, without fail, one of the pool of chirpy presenters (one time that was me!) bounds onto your screen to take you through their impressive line up of pre-school programmes. Noddy, Thomas the Tank Engine, Peppa Pig… this terrestrial channel has all the greats, plus each presenter has a daily song and ‘dance’ for your little one to invest in and enjoy too. No bells or whistles, just simple effective children’s telly at its best. In The Night Garden is a particular crowd pleaser amongst the parents and can be found over on the hugely popular CBeebies, and Mr Tumble (aka Justin Fletcher) who can also be found on the same network is a total genius. There’s a reason this less than ‘cliched’ looking presenter has won several Bafta awards for his show creations, and that’s because the man is dedicated, passionate and downright super talented at what he does. And of course I have to give a little mention to one of my own shows, which can be seen on the CiTV Channel most days, Skillicious. A show that was so much fun to make, and which takes extreme hobbies, sports and skills and makes them accessible and aspirational to all. It’s due to this show that I got my bug of go-kart racing! Children’s television is a much treasured genre, we all have out favorites regardless of our generation. Whether it be animation, action, adventure or live game shows, long may it continue!