Blog post

10 children’s TV programmes adults secretly love

April 18, 2019

Here are ten children’s TV programmes adults secretly love…which are your favourites?

It’s the holidays! So in all probability, your children will be watching a bit of TV – it’s fiiiiiiine – and you’ll be spending a lot of time shouting ‘Can you turn the volume DOWN?’ On repeat.

There are lots of TV programmes that are terrible for parents, which I know is the point as they’re not made for *us* , but you’ll have to sit through them anyway, with gritted teeth and a mild-to-middling headache. Unless you can make your excuses and retire to hide in the fridge, hoping they won’t realise.

But then there are the kids TV programmes that are not so terrible to watch. The ones you actually might even…enjoy. Yes, even you. These are the children’s TV programmes adults secretly love, too. Here’s my guide to ten of them:

For a start…any children’s TV programme that doesn’t have adverts: I’m sure I’m not alone in thinking adverts aimed at children are the devil’s work, with their catchy jingles, colourful worlds and instantly desirable plastic tat. Adverts mean a non-stop tirade of ‘Can I have that?’ Which I used to remember saying to my own parents. Sorry! We’re all just pawns in consumerism. Best to stream, and avoid.

CBeebies Bedtime Stories: My friends and I used to agree that the best thing about this programme is the smug feeling when they read a book you’ve got at home, and also because it means it’s nearly bedtime. But we were wrong, it’s all about the guests! From Tom Hardy to David Tennent and Chris Evans. It’s easy-on-the-eye story central.

Tom Hardy - CBeebies Bedtime Stories - Children's TV programmes adults secretly love

Hey Duggie: The best children’s TV programmes are pitched at a level where there are jokes for kids and jokes for parents, too. Like this one.

Do you Know? I’m not kidding when I say I’ve learned a LOT from this programme. Such as how pasta is made. Do YOU love it too? Let’s find out! (Here are the motherhood mysteries I’d like Do You Know to cover)

Do you know - a tip for all Do You Know fans and lovers of Maddie Moate

Horrible Histories: It’s gruesome, it’s gross, and yep, it’s taught me a lot that my own education didn’t teach me about history.

The Who Was Show: On Netflix, this is the is the slightly nicer, US version with a good feminist slant.

Topsy and Tim: Probably a controversial one, but my ragged parenting soul is soothed by the twins quick compliance and the mum’s calm, patient demeanour. Oh, and Kerry’s hot fireman dad (and here are some lies and truth in Topsy and Tim).

Topsy and Tim -  children's TV programmes adults secretly love

Let’s not mention THAT episode where the dog dies.

Any of the Julia Donaldson animations: If you’ve read and loved the books with your children, then they probably hold a special place in your heart. The TV animations are lovely, and might leave you sobbing subtly into your children’s snacks. Simon Pegg’s last ‘they were gone’ in Room on the Broom gets me in the gut, every time.

Any children’s TV programme you watched as a child: I think it’s the golden hue of nostalgia that makes your own childhood TV programmes still brilliant now, despite the fact that if they were made in the 80s then they’re probably a bit lacking on the production side. We’ve watched lots on YouTube, from Dogtanian to Gladiators, via SuperTed and Thundercats, and we even found some episodes of Supermarket Sweep on one of the Sky channels recently. Check it OUT.

Dogtanian - children's TV programmes adults secretly love

(Who remembers the cartoon Mysterious Cities of Gold? I’m still to find that online. Did they ever find the city?)

Paw Patrol: Yes, it’s terribly sexist and awful and what on earth is going on and how is the mayor so terrible? But part of the fun is getting your head round all of this. Especially when you’re sleep deprived to within an inch of your soul. Possibly not on the ten millionth watch though…

More posts…Everything CBeebies’ The Baby Club gets wrong about baby clubs and five things we’re watching, five years after everyone else


  • Sarah

    April 21, 2019 at 11:07 pm

    Duggee – 100x yes. TV genius. Love it. But I can’t get on board with Paw Patrol, sorry. The mayor is a step too far for me. I’ll have it on, sure, but I don’t secretly enjoy it at all it just makes me make dissatisfied noises! Why is a chicken more important than a town? Just, no.

    We like Messy Goes to Okido because it’s funny and makes me feel smug when the reception teacher expresses amazement that my child knows about atoms (yes, thanks TV babysitter for educating my four year old). For earning #3 the title “marvellous mathmetician” see also, Numberblocks.

    And now we’re into CBBC territory I could easily get sucked into a Next Step marathon and be sat watching all weekend long after the girlie has mooched off elsewhere. Will they make it to regionals? It’s. Just. Too. Nervewracking.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Prev Post Next Post