CHILDREN’S TV show Blue Peter is to be cut to just one show a week by next year.
BBC bosses have also decided that instead of being shown in its traditional BBC1 afternoon slot, the programme will premier on its digital children’s channel.
The show has already seen its presenting team reduced to two but the new schedule will be put in place from January 12.
From that date the once-popular show will air each Thursday on the CBBC channel, before being repeated the next day on BBC1.
Claire Rainford, head of communications at BBC Children’s and Learning, said the change was to allow the show to skip its traditional summer break.
In an interview with the Radio Times, she said: “We’re changing the way Blue Peter is scheduled so that it now runs all year round. We felt that we were missing out on covering important events for children, such as the forthcoming Olympic Games, by breaking over the school holidays.
“In addition, we are introducing a series of specials, such as a nine-part series following Helen Skelton’s polar challenge, which launches in late January, to give more in-depth coverage to events and activities of interest to children and give us greater flexibility. We’ll also be doing a Stargazing Live special and, later in the year, a series following the torch relay around the UK.
“We will premiere the show on CBBC at 5:45pm, which is where the vast majority of children in the UK now watch our output and where all our big shows premiere. By moving it into peak time, we hope it will reach the widest possible number of children. The airtime and budget for Blue Peter remains the same.”