Cheap TV shows ‘giving children US accents’

Anne Wood is the creator of hit TV show Teletubbies
Anne Wood is the creator of hit TV show Teletubbies
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Children are learning to speak with American accents because of a flood of cheap, imported TV programmes, according to Anne Wood, creator of Teletubbies, In the Night Garden and now Twirlywoos.

She says youngsters can be heard “talking American” in the playground because of their diet of wall-to-wall US television.

“Children’s programme-making in this country is in danger of getting obliterated,” said Ms Wood, 78, a BAFTA award-winning producer.

“You are getting children playing in the playground and talking in American accents because of all the programmes they are getting from there. There is a predominance of cheap American imports.

The grandmother-of-two, who founded Ragdoll Productions, said programme-makers are being forced to accept this “status quo” because ITV and Channel 4 were no longer making shows for youngsters.

The BBC will not pay for the type of programmes made in years gone by – In The Night Garden cost £14 million to make, for example – because funding had been cut to the “absolute minimum they can get away with”, she added.