The BBC's digital children's channel CBBC is to be given a shake-up in a bid to double its audience within two years, writes Leigh Holmwood
The BBC's digital children's channel CBBC is to be given a shake-up in a bid to double its audience within two years, writes Leigh Holmwood

The channel, which launched in February, has failed to match the impact of sister station CBeebies - aimed at pre-school children and now the most popular digital children's channel with a share of 6.3 per cent of the 5 million digital homes with children. CBBC has a share of around 1.6 per cent.

CBBC controller Nigel Pickard, who unveiled more than 500 hours of original children's programming this week worth £30m, said: 'We have a lot of work to do on the channel, but these new programmes will start to fill the gaps. It does have relatively small audiences. We are not hiding from that. This is a hugely competitive market.'

He said one of the channel's problems had been a lack of distinctive output. Also, the station had been pitched at a slightly too old age range. It is now being refocused on six to 11-year-olds. 'It was tough to tell our audience to go to the channel when there wasn't enough to distinguish it from what was on BBC 1 or BBC 2,' he said. 'This time has allowed us to get our production slate going.'

New shows include drama Yo! Diary and entertainment show Raven, both from CBBC Scotland, which will not be repeated on terrestrial channels for at least six months.

Other changes include the launch of new weekend show Dick and Dom in Da Bungalow that replaces Smile - made by indie Darrall Macqueen. It moves to BBC 2 in the same Sunday morning slot, replacing the previous mix of repeats and factual shows.

New programmes for CBeebies include drama Balamory, made by CBBC Scotland, flagship live action series Fimbles, from Novel Entertainment, and magazine show Tikkabilla, which takes elements from Play School.