In Bloom: First categories for Children’s TV

By 1970, Children’s TV had grown steadily in scope and impact for about 25 years. From the very first kids show Children’s Hour in 1946, through Andy Pandy, Bill & Ben and Sooty in the 50s, and Blue Peter, Play School and Jackanory in the 60s – it became clear that Children’s programming played a vital role in viewers’ formative years.

Two categories were introduced for Children’s TV this year under the banner of the Rediffusion Star Awards. The Flame of Knowledge rewarded a Schools Programme (for up to 16-years-old) whilst the Harlequin was given for Entertainment Programme. These two new categories coincided with very first Society of Film and Television Arts (SFTA) Awards – which now combined Film and TV in the same ceremony.

The inaugural Rediffusion winners were the charming, often witty documentary I Want To Be A Showjumper, and an episode of the BBC Schools series Scene called Terry – a teleplay by Alan Plater, starring Dennis Waterman as a young man who couldn’t keep a job. 

It would be another 25 years before Children’s TV output had grown enough to warrant its own ceremony, with the first one taking place in 1996. 

Image, l-r: Sweep, Sooty and Sue of The Sooty Show which ran on ITV from 1968-1992 (FremantleMedia Ltd/REX/Shutterstock).

The Sooty Show
The Sooty Show

VIDEO: Forty years later, there'd be 25 categories celebrating the best in kids TV, Film and Games. Watch the red carpet arrivals at the EA British Academy Children's Awards in 2010, including interviews with Chloe Moretz, Simon Bird, Tyger Drew Honey and Matthew Lewis.. (Source: BAFTA Productions)