Children’s TV to be moved from BBC1 and BBC2

Children’s TV programmes including Blue Peter and Newsround will be moved off BBC1 and BBC2 as part of the corporation’s cost-cutting measures.

Blue Peter – hosted by Helen Skelton and Barney Harwood – and Newsround will move to digital channels CBBC and CBeebies as part of the Delivering Quality First (DQF) scheme.

The plans, part of a process which has seen the BBC commit to saving billions of pounds from its budget after the annual licence fee was frozen at £145.50 for six years, were rubber-stamped today by the BBC Trust.

The trust’s response said the impact on children would be ‘very low’, but it admitted the move could cause ‘short term confusion’ and would need ‘sufficient cross-promotion and marketing’.

A Trust spokesman insisted children’s programmes were ‘absolutely fundamental to the BBC’.

He added: “Only a very small percentage of children still solely watch these programmes on BBC One and BBC Two alone, so moving them to digital channels is merely following current viewing patterns and reflects the fact that CBeebies and CBBC will be universally available on digital TV from the end of this year.”

The trust also confirmed proposed savings in local radio have been cut from £15 million to £8 million.