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CBeebies Ditches 'Bob The Builder' To Create More Gender-Neutral Channel

CBeebies Ditches 'Bob The Builder' To Create More Gender-Neutral Channel

Can they fix gender imbalance on the popular children's network? Yes they can - and 'Fireman Sam' looks set to go too

James Dawson

James Dawson

Remember all those years ago when Bob The Builder had a number one single with the theme tune to his hit TV show? We wish we didn't, but it's burnt into our brains.

But the likelihood of the song topping the charts today has been drastically reduced, with the BBC now looking to realign its gender imbalance by bringing in fresh heroes who might not be so stereotypically male.

See ya, Bob. Credit: CBeebies

The BBC has already axed Bob The Builder - along with Fireman Sam - in order to make the programming on CBeebies more gender-neutral, according to the channel's controller, Kay Benbow, who is stepping down after seven years in charge. Both are now being shown on Channel 5.

Although the BBC has come under fire for the gender imbalance in CG cartoons on CBeebies, Benbow has said that that wasn't caused by institutionalised sexism at the BBC. Rather, she told the Times that she just thinks male CG characters are easier to create.

"I have a view that it's easier with men, because 'Mr' sums up a man, while women are defined by their marital status," she said, in a statement that's more confusing than an episode of Rick & Morty.

Credit: CBeebies

Still, there are less baffling movements in place, such as the commissioning of new animated series Bitz & Bob - which is billed by Jellyfish Pictures, the company that's making it, as 'a fresh new CGI action comedy for pre-schoolers'.

The show will follow eight-year-old Bitz - who clearly got the short straw when her parents named her - and her brother Bob as they explore the world of science, technology, engineering and maths (also known as STEM), smashing the patriarchy as they go.

Credit: CBeebies

You'd never guess it, but the decision has caused a little bit of a reaction on Twitter. Some people were unimpressed in response to the news...

...but others had a bit of fun with it.

Just wonder what Dora The Explorer makes of it all.

Words: Mischa Pearlman

Featured Image Credit: CBeebies

Topics: TV and Film