Enid Blyton banned by BBC for 30 years

11:06, Nov 16 2009

Archived BBC documents have revealed that Enid Blyton was banned from the network for nearly 30 years because the corporation thought she was not a good author.

The Daily Mail newspaper said the documents chronicle how Blyton, the creator of the Famous Five and Noddy, was kept off the radio because executives dismissed her plays and books as 'very small beer'.

An internal memo dated 1938 from the head of the BBC Schools department Jean Sutcliffe said, 'My impression of her stories is that they might do for Children's Hour but certainly not for Schools Dept, they haven't much literary value.'

'There is rather a lot of the Pinky-winky-Doodle-doodle Dum-dumm type of name (and lots of pixies) in the original tales.'

In August 1940, Blyton's play 'The Monkey and the Barrel Organ' was rejected by the the daily radio programme Children's Hour for the 'stilted and long-winded' dialogue.

Blyton was also aware of the ban.

"I and my stories are completely banned by the BBC as far as children are concerned - not one story has ever been broadcast, and, so it is said, not one ever will be." Blyton wrote to a BBC producer.

Blyton - one of the best-selling authors of her time - did eventually have her work appear on BBC's Woman's Hour in 1963, five years before her death.