Blue Peter is to be cut from three shows a week to two, it was confirmed on Friday.

The BBC said the move “will allow Blue Peter to concentrate on more compelling and ambitious content that is more appealing to our audience”.

The Corporation denied the reduction was prompted by budget cuts.

Over the past year, the long-running children’s show has been reduced from five days a week to four, and then to three.

A spokesman said: “Because of the success of this experiment and our belief that sourcing better quality content over a shorter run will provide viewers with a better Blue Peter, we have decided to reduce the number of shows to two days a week.

“The purpose of this reduction is emphatically not driven by cost-cutting but a further expression of our ‘fewer, bigger, better’ strategy which is being applied across the entire CBBC output.

“This will allow Blue Peter to concentrate on more compelling and ambitious content that is more appealing to our audience.”

CBBC creative director Anne Gilchrist said: “Our aim is for Blue Peter to become an even stronger, more exciting brand which remains a pillar of the CBBC schedule.”

Presenter Konnie Huq recently announced she is to quit the show after 10 years.

Blue Peter was drawn into the TV phone-in controversy when it emerged that a competition winner was faked.

A girl touring the studio was asked to pose as a winning caller due to technical difficulties with the phonelines.