Kiddie Big Brother

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Kiddie Big Brother

Post by Lou on Tue Feb 03, 2009 3:22 am

Channel 4 last night stood accused of exploiting children for ratings.

Charities said the broadcaster had hit a new low with a Big Brother-style reality show for youngsters as young as eight.

The four-part series Boys and Girls Alone shows children repeatedly sobbing and begging to be allowed to go home after being left to fend for themselves for a fortnight.

Violence erupts between the ten boys, including one pointing a knife at another, while the oldest of the ten girls resorts to bullying and intimidation.

The programme-makers said Boys and Girls Alone was intended to test whether today's 'cotton wool kids' could survive alone, or whether modern society had forced them to grow up too quickly.

The controversy comes after a series of programmes that have dismayed or disturbed viewers. Media watchdogs called on the Culture Secretary Andy Burnham to rein in the broadcaster.

John Beyer, of Mediawatch, said: 'If Channel 4 won't heed the public dismay and anxiety surrounding these programmes then the Secretary of State should look at the terms under which it operates.'

The first hour-long episode of the series, due to be screened tonight, shows the ten boys and ten girls, all aged eight to 12, moving into six isolated stone cottages in Cornwall.

Cameras filmed them as they coped with day-to-day problems, and captured the boys' swift descent into violence.

One is seen launching a flying karate-style kick at another's head. When the boys try to discipline a nine-year-old called Ryan, they have to be broken up by an adult chaperone after he is cornered by two of his housemates, one armed with a garden rake.

Chaperones also had to step in when another boy pointed a knife at an 11-year-old, although that episode is not due to be screened.

The girls avoid violence but within 24 hours of moving into their houses several have been reduced to tears by bullying.

Maddie, eight, is shown sobbing after older girls daub the walls of a house with bloody handmarks and 'ghost messages', including: 'If I'm dead, you're next.'

Parents watched the filming on CCTV cameras in a nearby house, and were told they could take their children out of the programme at any time.

Matthew, nine, began beating his head against a wall when his parents refused to let him quit. Another nine-year-old, Sid, was taken home after three days.

He had been struggling to cook for himself and resorted to a Pot Noodle made with cold water.

The girls managed better and cooked three meals a day and even baked cakes.

But their arguments developed into screaming rows and left Sophia, eight, sobbing: 'I came to get away from parents and have fun but it's not fun at all, it's like a living nightmare.'

Debbie Beaumont, 42, the mother of one of the girls in the series, Charley, defended her 12-year-old against accusations that she was involved in on-screen bullying. She said: 'I didn't think Charley was doing anything malicious.'

Liz Carnell, of charity Bullying UK, said: 'This is a peep show using children as the victims. If parents left their children alone in houses for two weeks, social services would be round. I'm quite surprised they haven't intervened in this.'

Michele Eliot, of Kidscape, said: 'Exploiting children for ratings is a new low for Channel 4.'

Channel 4 said: 'Chaperones were in the houses at all times, and the parents were watching and could stop it at any time.'

The parents did not receive any payment but were compensated for travel and other expenses.

Boys and Girls Alone is due to be screened tonight on Channel 4 at 9pm.



Those parents should have their children taken off them, they are obvious not fit to bring up children. What sort of parent would watch their child banging his head against a wall and force him to stay in there Evil or Very Mad

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Re: Kiddie Big Brother

Post by HiJo on Tue Feb 03, 2009 8:04 am

I don't know what kind of social experiment this is meant to be, but it just looks like sensationalism and publicity for C4. They knew ages ago that it was going to attract loads of complaints so they got what they wanted. No such thing as bad publicity.
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Re: Kiddie Big Brother

Post by louastra on Tue Feb 03, 2009 10:18 am

How dreadful, and at their young age, it`s going cause them some trouble, or effect them, and especially later in life. Twisted Evil
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Re: Kiddie Big Brother

Post by louastra on Tue Feb 03, 2009 10:20 am

Violence erupts between the ten boys, including one pointing a knife at another, while the oldest of the ten girls resorts to bullying and intimidation.

affraid Great start in life already pointing a knife. how on earth do they have knives of any type in there.
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