Round the Twist has been voted Australia’s Favourite Kids’ Show in a survey of adults who grew up watching Australian-made Children’s television.
A Swinburne University of Technology-based research team analysed 542 survey responses and conducted 21 extended interviews with adults who grew up watching television in Australia, to measure the lasting impact of watching Children’s TV.
These were the Top 10 shows:
1. Round the Twist
2. Play School
3. Mr Squiggle
4. Skippy the Bush Kangaroo
5. Blinky Bill
6. The Ferals
7. Lift Off!
8. Ship to Shore
9. Bananas in Pyjamas
10. The Genie from Down Under
“This study reveals just how significant Australian children’s TV is to the cultural life of our nation,” says Chief Investigator Dr Joanna McIntyre. “It’s provided lasting experiences of wonder and a continuing sense of belonging to generations of Australians for more than 60 years.
“This research also shows that although children watch TV differently in the streaming era, digital platforms actually offer new ways to share and connect via beloved Aussie children’s content.”
The report found that for nine out of 10 survey respondents, some of their favourite shows growing up were Australian.
It also identified that the most memorable Australian children’s shows were ‘cheeky’ or ‘edgy’ and often included a particular formula – a mix of weird, quirky elements with depictions of relatable Australian life.
The survey found that the iconic series Round the Twist was not only the favourite show among respondents, but also the show most revisited in their adult years, followed by Play School and Mr Squiggle.
More than half of those aged 51 and older and more than two thirds of those aged 41-50 have revisited children’s shows in recent years, while those aged 18-40 were the most likely to revisit childhood favourites (74%).
Chief Investigator Dr Joanna McIntyre said: “This study reveals just how significant Australian children’s TV is to the cultural life of our nation. It has provided lasting experiences of wonder and a continuing sense of belonging to multiple generations for more than 60 years. This research also shows that although kids watch TV differently in the streaming era, digital platforms actually offer new ways to share and connect via beloved Aussie children’s content.”
Australian Children’s Television Foundation CEO Jenny Buckland said: “This research demonstrates how what we watch when we’re young has a profound impact, shaping our experience of Australian culture and connecting us with our community and peers. This is why it’s so important to support Australian children’s content via measures like regulation and public investment. Those wonderful shows people are remembering from the 1990s and 2000s were all supported by public policies. We need to make sure children today have the same opportunities to grow up with Australian shows.”
The Australian Children’s Television Cultures research project is based at Swinburne University of Technology, in collaboration with RMIT University. The report’s authors are Dr Joanna McIntyre, Associate Professor Liam Burke, Dr Djoymi Baker, and Dr Jessica Balanzategui. The research is supported by the Australian Children’s Television Foundation.
Kids’ TV Memories: Audience Perspectives on the Roles and Long-term Value of Australian Children’s Television is here.