United Kingdom

BBC 'wants to create Britain's answer to The Simpsons' in bid to end dominance of US cartoons

The BBC wants to produce cartoons that could act as a British challenger to American animation The Simpsons, a senior BBC executive has said. 

The broadcaster's director of children's and education, Patricia Hidalgo, is leading the investment drive into developing British cartoons for children aged seven to 12. 

She said it would be 'amazing' if the broadcaster could develop a cartoon that would rival the success of The Simpsons, a US series which launched in 1989 and has since broadcast almost 700 episodes. 

The BBC's director of children's and education, Patricia Hidalgo, said it would be 'amazing' if the broadcaster could develop a cartoon that would rival the success of US series The Simpsons (pictured) 

Ms Hidalgo said the drive would seek to draw back audiences lost to subscription platforms like Netflix and Disney. 

'A lot of children were going to the competition because we didn't have the animation,' she told The Times. 

The senior BBC executive cited animations Mr Bean and JoJo & Gran Gran as British success stories. 

Ms Hidalgo indicated she would look to commission similar shows as part of her ambition to have 90 per cent of cartoons broadcast on BBC channels to be British-made within three years. 

The drive is indicative of the BBC's hopes to end the dominance of US cartoons, with Ms Hidalgo claiming American shows prevent British children from absorbing their own culture. 

Ms Hidalgo said the drive would seek to repeat the success of British animation Peppa Pig (pictured) and would attempt to draw back audiences lost to subscription platforms like Netflix and Disney

The senior BBC executive cited animations Mr Bean and JoJo & Gran Gran (pictured) as British success stories

She also encouraged producers to pack new shows with examples of typical life in Britain, featuring roast beef dinners instead of American turkey dishes.  

It comes as the BBC seeks to develop more British animations to build on the success of popular preschool series Peppa Pig.    

Ms Hidalgo used British animation series The Amazing World of Gumball as an example, as despite being developed in the UK, the cartoon is set in a fictional Californian town. 

She told the publication: 'Everything that happens there, the cars, the festivities, they do Thanksgiving, all the things that happen are very American.'

'What I think we can do is set our characters in a British setting, or at least European... What about roast beef instead of turkey?'

She added: 'Children grow up with these cultures. Why not infuse more of our culture?'  

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