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Tuesday, 24 February 2009

image for Black Children's TV presenter "scares young viewers"
Controversial TV presenter Simon Churchill

A children's TV channel came in for criticism last night when complaints were made about its new presenter Simon Churchill who some parents claimed "scared their kids".

Churchill, 26, whose grandfather was from Jamaica and settled in the the UK in 1946 after serving in the RAF, took up his role in January. Whilst he has proved popular, his appointment has drawn criticism from some parents who complained, saying that the appearance of a non-white face had startled and confused their children, causing some to cry and have nightmares.

"I'm not a racist" said Anja Grey from Faversham, Kent "and I'm sure black people do have an important part to play in society, but I just feel Churchill's appointed was inappropriate as it has left me to answer awkward questions being asked by an inquisitive 4 year old".

Other parents have voiced similar concerns. Jo Clarke of Dover said "My son wanted to know why the man had different skin to the other presenters. When I told him to shut up and stop asking me questions, he burst into tears."

"Now my son is refusing to eat his dinner, all thanks to irresponsible broadcasters!" She added.

The broadcaster has stood by the appointment of Churchill, saying "when we appointed Simon it was on the grounds of his wonderful personality and sense of humour." they added "we have so far received nine complaints, one of which was sent in error thinking it was something to do with Russell Brand".

But this still left some parents unhappy.

"We should not have explain to our kids the things they see on TV" said Ms Grey "they have a duty of care to make sure that we can offload any responsibly as parents on to them. I'm sure Simon is a nice person, I've heard some black people are, but is this really appropriate in 21st century Britain?"

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