Sunday, 8 February 2015
84 John Craven's Newsround
First watched : April 1972
Now be honest , we all say we loved this and its indestructible presenter but how many of us at the time saw this as anything other than an unwarranted intrusion of the boring adult world into our fun ? I didn't hate this as much as the music - stopping Newsbeat feature on Radio One which followed in 1973 but I never looked forward to it either.
The ultra-Reithian idea behind Newsround ( as it became after JC's departure in 1989 ) was to present the news of the day in a simplified and sometimes bowdlerised form for children. This apparently hadn't been done anywhere else in the world and drew some adult criticism for "invading the garden". To present the programme they chose a young-ish reporter from regional TV who was so square he was cool. Because it was the first news programme on BBC1 for four hours it often broke important news such as the Space Shuttle explosion in 1986. It started out as a five minute insert but later expanded to fifteen minutes so I should count myself lucky.
John of course was involved with other kids' programmes which we'll discuss in due course and has never been off our screens, starting a new quiz show only this year. Newsround also continues to this day but finally finished on BBC1 in 2012.