Minister urged to act over ‘incomprehensible’ Sesame Street plan

SesamestreetJunior culture minister Sander Dekker is being urged to intervene in a decision to move children’s tv programme Sesame Street to a special channel for younger viewers.

Socialist MP Jasper van Dijk says the show, which has been broadcast just before ‘bedtime’ for almost 40 years, should remain in its current spot on NPO 1, not move to theme channel Zapp Xtra.

‘It is an incomprehensible decision which shows the managers in Hilversum are doing nothing but look at the viewing figures,’ he said. ‘Dekker needs to ensure this decision gets reversed.’

D66 parliamentarian Kees Verhoeven told news agency ANP the minister’s decision to phase out ‘entertainment’ on the public broadcasters is actually leading to ‘all sorts of cultural and educational programmes disappearing’.

After moving soul and jazz radio programmes, the public broadcasters are now removing a ‘much loved’ show from the main channels, he said.

Actor Aart Staartjes who has played the Sesame Street character Meneer Aart for years, says the decision will be the death of the show.

‘If Sesame Street moves to a themed channel, then the core element will be gone,’ he said. This, he said, is because ‘no one’ will watch it.

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