Television is a positive influence on our kids – that's according to eight out of ten parents surveyed by Freeview.

Freeview – who the more cynical amongst you could accuse of having a vested interest in pushing the pro-TV message – insists that the vast majority of parents think that television is actually aiding their child's development.

Of the 1,880 parents of children aged between two and 11 surveyed, 66 per cent believed that TV helped numeracy and musical skills, 63 per cent suggested that it aided imagination and 28 per cent suggested that it encouraged their kids to exercise.

To add a little balance, 67 per cent conceded that television may have some detrimental effect on their child.

Byron-esque

The research is part of a report commissioned by Freeview from Dr Tanya Byron – renowned television psychiatrist and the person behind the recent reports into the way the internet and gaming affects kids.

"Whilst parents who participated in the Freeview focus groups said they were happy to trust their own instincts and to judge what is right for their child, they admitted some advice and guidance would give them additional confidence to ensure they were maximising the quality TV for children available," said Byron about the findings.

"I, too, believe that television has a positive role to play in a child's development but it does need to be monitored and managed responsibly."