Toddlers and pre-schoolers have been boycotting children's TV channel Cbeebies in recent weeks the BBC has today admitted.
'This is a disaster' moaned Cbeebies Controller Damian Kavanagh. 'Children have been watching our programmes for years thinking they're just enjoyable nonsense, but now the word's out that they're learning something as well our viewing figures have plummeted.' He admitted however that top BBC bosses had been expecting this to happen for the last few years. 'It was only a matter of time before they worked it out' he accepted.
Word is thought to have spread rapidly last week throughout nurseries and playschools following three year old Euan Edwards' realisation that he'd learned some basic counting skills whilst watching an episode of Numberjacks. 'I was shocked' he told reporters, 'shocked and betrayed. I've been a fan of the show for the last year. Now I realise that what I thought was just a bit of light entertainment to keep me out of trouble whilst Mummy cooked tea was actually a carefully designed attempt to teach me basic numeracy. It's underhand and completely unacceptable.'
Euan then began to research other Cbeebies programmes, testing them in turn for numeracy, literacy and other educational content. 'What I found was even more shocking' he explained. 'Almost every programme I watched that day was trying to teach me something or other' he complained. 'They even tried to teach me friendship and teamwork skills in some cases. The only ones that seemed to include no educational value whatsoever was the Teletubbies. God knows what that was about!' He did however acknowledge one upside to the learning element of the shows, as his maths is now at a better standard than GCSE level.
Euan did though go on to tell his friends about his discovery at playschool the following morning, and soon the news had spread across the whole of the country. Not long afterwards a carefully co-ordinated campaign had been started by pre-schoolers with posters, press-statements and even a protest song, ironically making use of the literacy, artistic, teamworking and music skills learned whilst watching Cbeebies.
In an official statement the Campaign for Non-Educational Kid's TV Bethan Rose said 'The children of Britain have been left feeling deeply betrayed by this revelation. Our faith in everything we are told by adults has been rocked. What will we find out next - that Father Christmas isn't real? We demand a change to all Cbeebies programming so that all educational content is removed, much like the programmes our parents watched when they were little. In the meantime we will be switching our viewing to other channels such as Nick Jr that feature no learning material whatsoever, like Dora the Explorer and her amazing bilingual adventures... oh... bugger.'