ITV and other public service broadcasters will be forced to invest more money on British-made children’s programmes amid fears they are on the brink of “extinction”.
Ofcom, the regulator, will be given the power to impose children’s television “quotas” on broadcasters amid concerns a generation of children are growing up watching repeats and foreign imports.
The last Labour Government downgraded the importance of children’s TV for public service broadcasters, leading to a 93 per cent fall in spending by commercial channels since 2003.
It represents a significant shift from what is seen as a golden era of children’s television in the 1960s and 1970s, with shows such as Bagpuss, the Magic Roundabout and the Clangers.
Baroness Benjamin, the former children’s television presenter and Lib Dem peer who secured the new powers for Ofcom, said: “Children’s programming is in serious decline. It is our responsibility to make sure that this does not continue. Our children and our grandchildren are entitled to the provision of quality programming that was there for us.