The series My Life, is in my opinion a hidden gem on the CBBC channel it is not something that too many people know about in particular adults (some who actually work for CBBC) don’t know that there is a documentary series for children about children but in many cases the children who actually fit into the channels target audience they don’t know either.
I know this from some research I carried out with some groups of 9 year old children out of 8 only one had actually seen and knew of the series.
The series is not actually made by the BBC’s in house team it instead is made through independent production companies for the BBC because these are themselves based across the county it means that the contributors of the documentaries also are.
Documentary series following the highs and lows of a group of youngsters. Tackling a different subject each episode, the strand provides an insight into the lives of different children across the UK, each with a unique story to tell.
The series’ have seen many amazing children contributors with incredible stories to tell, there have been episodes about disabilities, sports, traveller children’s, children’s whose parents are in Afghanistan and whose dad’s are in prison, over coming their stammer, children with alopecia, children with prosthetic limbs, narcolepsy, dwarfism, and to a child getting a kidney transplant from his dad.
I have seen them all and can tell you that the series is extremely diverse and as you can see covers some very serious issues.
It was at this point that I realised that from knowing the concept for the series you could see the programme themes fitting on BBC2, BBC3, Channel 4 or Channel 5. And even with their contributors being children the programmes would still do extremely well if they were appealing to a older target audience. So I wondered how it was possible to make the series about complex issues suitable for children if the CBBC channels target audience is 6- 12 years old.
I set myself the research area and question Looking into CBBC’s series My Life what factors are important to make factual programming about serious subjects suitable and appropriate for children?
It would be through making my own version of a My Life episode I would endeavour to answer to this question.