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BBC chief on 'too rich TV diet' for children

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1975-01-21 Times.jpg



Mr Shaun Sutton, head of BBC television drama, questioned at a conference in Manchester yesterday whether parents allow children " too rich a television diet ".

His view that parents might easily allow too much viewing because it is " the easiest of distractions for tired parents " was supported by Mrs Mary Whitehouse, honorary secretary of the National Viewers' and Listeners' Association. She said her organization had " hair-raising " evidence of children watching for 11 or 12 hours a day.

Mr Sutton said " Courage must be a bask ingredient of Dr Who. It is expected that the hero will be brave and this is right. Dr Who is the only science-fiction hero who has a sense of humour."

Mr Sutton, addressing the conference on broadcasting policy arranged by the Manchester University extramural studies' department, said : " We hear a lot about what children ought and ought not to see, but there seems less controversy about the amount."

He gave an explanation of some of the .reasoning behind the Dr Who series and showed extracts from it which, he said, demonstrated the qualities of courage, humour and morality.

She said the programme was shown at the wrong time of the evening before the normal bedtime of young children.

Mr Sutton, father of four children aged between 9 and 21 and married to a former actress, said that he and his wife had always tried to ration viewing in their family.

In his address to 50 delegates from higher education and television and radio organizations, he said : " Are we asking our children to watch too much and so denying them much of the rich diversity which should be enlarging their developing years ? Television hands it out on a plate ready made, while there are books to be read, arts and crafts to be learnt, and games to be played.

" Are we perhaps in danger of losing the complete man or woman of the future by reducing our children's chances of becoming complete children ? While considering the quality of television, should we not also consider the potential dangers of quantity ?

After his address Mr Sutton emphasized that responsibility for deciding. when to switch off lay with parents.

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  • APA 6th ed.: Chartres, John (1975-01-21). BBC chief on 'too rich TV diet' for children. The Times p. 4.
  • MLA 7th ed.: Chartres, John. "BBC chief on 'too rich TV diet' for children." The Times [add city] 1975-01-21, 4. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Chartres, John. "BBC chief on 'too rich TV diet' for children." The Times, edition, sec., 1975-01-21
  • Turabian: Chartres, John. "BBC chief on 'too rich TV diet' for children." The Times, 1975-01-21, section, 4 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=BBC chief on 'too rich TV diet' for children | url= | work=The Times | pages=4 | date=1975-01-21 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=2 March 2021 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=BBC chief on 'too rich TV diet' for children | url= | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=2 March 2021}}</ref>