There is an ongoing debate about whether the BBC should cancel its kids’ show The Baskets because it is perceived to be too soft on children, despite the fact that the programme is about four year olds and that its makers have previously said that it is aimed at teenagers.
The Basket, which is hosted by comedian Lenny Henry, has had more than 5 million viewers.
The show has also been the subject of an international debate about the right balance between children’s education and safety.
Its co-creator, Graham Linehan, has said the show will be judged on its message of empathy and learning.
In his speech to the Royal Society of Arts in London last week, Mr Linehan said that he felt the programme had “a lot to say about the ways children are being left behind” and was “designed to help us make better choices for our children”.
“There’s something to be said for being open-minded, for having a different perspective, and not necessarily looking to the past to explain why children are different,” he said.
“We want children to be free, but we also want them to be smart.”
There are also concerns about the programme’s gender balance, with the first episode featuring the main characters being played by men.
BBC One said in a statement on Friday that the show had been a “genuine and well-received hit”.
It said the Baskettes had “become a global phenomenon”.
“We are proud of the work of Graham Lineham and Lenny, and have no regrets about the way the show has been received,” the statement said.
“The programme is not about boys or girls.
It is about the human experience, with its unique blend of humour and drama.”
The Basket is also in danger of losing a number of its stars.
Last week, British actor Matthew McConaughey was reported to have cancelled plans to appear in the show.
On Thursday, actress and producer Julia Roberts announced that she had been offered a role in the series.
She told the Daily Telegraph that she would not be interested in returning to the show as the “entire cast is doing extraordinary work”.
But the BBC said it was looking to renew the show, despite Ms Roberts’ decision to step down.
It is not clear what impact Mr Lineham’s remarks will have on the ratings of The Basks, which has been criticised for being too soft.
The show’s ratings have fallen from 4.9 million in 2011 to 1.7 million in 2014, and it has been repeatedly rated as being “totally unsuitable” by critics.
Other BBC shows also have been criticised.
In October last year, the BBC aired an episode of Doctor Who that was criticised for “stereotyping” children.
The BBC has previously said it is looking at whether to cancel the series when it returns to series seven.
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