By Andy Merrett
Jan 16, 2013
Bernard Cribbins will return to children’s TV as he portrays Old Jack, a fisherman with many tall tales to tell.
A mix of live action and animation will see Old Jack and his canine companion, Salty, reminiscing about times on The Rainbow fishing boat.
Episodes, including two written by Russell T Davies, begins with Jack wandering through the streets of Staithes in North Yorkshire, saying good morning to all his friends, and then meeting someone who sparks a story idea.
The story always begins the same – with “Once upon a twinkly time, the Rainbow set off from Staithes, waved goodbye to Whitby and disappeared over the horizon…”
Then the storytelling comes into full force. Jack tells an increasingly tall tale that features him as a central character. Using props scattered around him, he acts out dramatic moments from the story that mixes live action and animation. He could be under the sea or floating high in the air but wherever he is he always meets interesting characters along the way. And they are often very familiar – very much like his friends from the town.
At the end of the story he and Salty leave the boat and walk back through Staithes. They again bump into the friend they met earlier and the story that was set up at the beginning of the episode is resolved. Then, Old Jack sets off back through the town to the Mermaid Cafe for a well-earned cup of tea or back to his house at the top of the hill.
Together with the TV programme will be interactive online stories voiced by Bernard Cribbins.
Other well-known actors and comedians taking part in the show include:
- Freema Agyeman (best known for playing Martha Jones in Doctor Who);
- Paul Hawkyard (Casualty, MI High)
- Helen Lederer (Absolutely Fabulous)
- Janine Duvitski (One Foot In The Grave, Abigail’s Party)
- Nadine Marshall (Random, Casualty)
Dates and times for transmission to be confirmed.
The BBC has announced a raft of new science shows for children of all ages, broadcasting in early 2013 on the CBBC and CBeebies channels.
Favourite duo Dick and Dom will be investigating the lives of people who had genius ideas and helped shape the modern world.
Absolute Genius will be a fun, irreverent, fact-laden, explosion-filled journey to explore the work of some of the most important inventors and scientists in history. From da Vinci to Watt and Archimedes, this series will fuse thrilling experiments and animation to explore the theories and inventions that have shaped the world we live in.
Fierce Earth will explore the true power of planet Earth using a mixture of on-location and archive footage, plus experiments, experts and personal stories. Kids will find out about such powerful phenomenon as hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis and lightning.
Super Human Challenge will see presenter Tim Fitzhigham searching the world for people with real life super powers.
With the aid of the Mission Doctor, Dr Megan John, he pits himself against them to find out just how super they really are. Using animation, science and technology this show astounds viewers with just how amazing the human body is and what it can achieve. These are real life Super Human that defy science with super strength, extraordinary stamina and other unbelievable physical abilities.
Junior Vets will give six school children the opportunity to become the first ever juniors to enrol at Edinburgh University’s high-tech Vet School. They’ll work alongside the school’s top vets, treating poorly pets, wounded wildlife and farm animals that are feeling unwell.
Deadly Mission: Madagascar takes eight young teenagers to the front line of conservation to discover for themselves the issues faced there, and work directly wit the scientists and conservationists at the forefront of research. They’ll meet endangered wildlife from Humpback Whales to Bamboo Lemurs, plus get to know the generation of kids growing up in rural Madagascar.
Younger CBeebies viewers will be glad to see new series of Nina And The Neurons, Mr Bloom’s Nursery: Get Set, Grow! and Octonauts.
Nina And The Neurons: Go Engineering sees super scientist Nina (Katrina Bryan) and her young Engineers travel the UK in search of engineering wonders from towering skyscrapers to really long bridges. With the help of Nina’s five animated sense Neurons, they explain how things work and discover how science and engineering have built the world around us.
Mr Bloom packs up his Compo Car and head out across the country to set up a travelling village fete for thousands of Tiddlers. Mr Bloom is, of course, joined by his loveable team of Veggies who are thrilled to discover about life outside the Nursery from a hydroponics farm to an amazing maize maze.
Exact dates and times of broadcast will be revealed in due course.
It seems ex-Doctor Who assistants don’t last as long as the Time Lord himself (unless they secretly regenerate, but then how do you explain them occasionally meeting one another?)
So it is for Sarah Jane, who will return to the CBBC channel for a fifth and final series from Monday 3rd October.
Six episodes make up the series, with much more information available on the official Sarah Jane Adventures web site.
Produced in Wales and starring Elisabeth Sladen, young talent includes Tommy Knight as Luke, Daniel Anthony as Clyde, Anjli Mohindra as Rani and Sinead Michael as Sky.
The series also features Ace Bhatti and Mina Anwar as Rani’s parents, Jocelyn Jee Esien as Clyde’s mum, and guest appearances from Floella Benjamin as Professor Rivers, James Dreyfuss as Harrison, Peter Bowles as Lionel Carson, Christine Stephen-Daly as Miss Myers and Lily Loveless as Ellie.
Sky – Episode One
Sarah Jane finds a baby girl on her doorstep and tries to find out who abandoned her. At a nuclear power station, a beautiful woman appears out of thin air and uses alien powers to take control. She’s looking for something – and realises that Sarah Jane may just have it.
Sky – Episode Two
Sky has undergone an amazing transformation, but in doing so has triggered a countdown that no one can stop. As Sarah Jane and Sky find themselves trapped between the alien war fought by Metalkind and Fleshkind, Clyde and Rani face a race against time to stop the biggest bang in history…
The Curse Of Clyde Langer – Episode One
It’s raining fish from the skies, and Sarah Jane’s investigations lead the gang to the Museum of Culture, where the ancient god Hetocumtek may offer answers. But when Clyde acts the fool once too often, family and friends savagely turn against him, and he is thrown out of their lives!
The Curse Of Clyde Langer – Episode Two
Clyde is alone and abandoned on the streets of London, living rough, cold and hungry. One person reaches out to him, but as they become friends, he’s warned about the legendary Night Dragon. In Bannerman Road, Sky knows something’s wrong – why do Sarah Jane and Rani suddenly hate Clyde?
The Man Who Never Was – Episode One
Joseph Serf has launched his new SerfBoard, the must-have computer that no one can resist owning. Intrigued, Sarah Jane takes Luke and Sky to investigate what’s so compelling about Serf and his business. Clyde and Rani meanwhile take a SerfBoard to pieces, suspecting alien technology may be the answer…
The Man Who Never Was – Episode Two
The truth behind Joseph Serf’s company is out – alien Light Sculptors, slaves kept beneath his office building. As Luke and Sky try to find a way to free them and get them home safely, Sarah Jane needs Clyde and Rani to come and help her – and get married along the way…
What do you think of the series coming to an end? How about a spinoff series featuring another of the Doctor’s assistants? Let us know in the comments below.
The puzzles feature all the main characters from the show including Driver Dan, the story telling lion, Loopy the green stegosaurus and Precious the camel. Each design shows the characters within a brightly coloured setting, thereby ensuring plenty of puzzling fun as they assemble the scenes!
Available now from Amazon, the giant puzzle costs £8.99 while the 3-in-a-box puzzles are £6.99.
This is a very important part of the mix, because it allows kids to use a web site wholly dedicated to them yet offers advice and information for their parents and carers about programmes and learning.
The BBC has just announced a revamp to the current “Grown-ups” website, designed to make it more fun and easier to use.
New features will include an “Extras” section that gives a sneaky glimpse into the world of CBeebies, such as interviews with the cast and crew or outtakes from favourite shows.
As well as a de-cluttered, brighter look, the navigation menu will make it easier for users to find what they are looking for or what is most relevant to them.
There are three key sections “Fun Activities”, “Support for You” and “Programmes”. The “Fun Activities” section has been designed with education in mind so that children can play while secretly learning. It explains more about the value of CBeebies and how its online games, stories and songs can be used to create magic moments between grown-up and child.
The “Support For You” section shows parents and carers how CBeebies content can help them deal with everyday issues from nutrition and special needs, to first days in school or nursery and safeguarding children when they are using technology. These features have been written in consultation with healthcare, special needs and Early Years experts and give advice on where to go for further information.
The “Programmes” section will take users through to CBeebies shows, describing what the programmes are about with a brief introduction to the characters alongside what educational value they have for children.
Besides displaying improved navigation, the website has been re-designed to give a more interactive experience, offering recommendations of where users could go next on their Grown-ups journey.
Filters such as age, theme, moods, interests and learning areas will enable users to further break down their searches to find content specific to their child’s age or even how much time they have to spend online.
While the emphasis is on fun, the content is designed to support the Early Years Foundation Scheme and help parents and carers with their child’s development.
As part of the re-vamp, Grown-ups has also launched on social media networks. There will be regular blogging on the site, which will also have links to Grown-ups Twitter and Facebook to give users an inside track on the latest CBeebies news.
The social networks will offer exclusive content such as previews and interviews as well as interactive chats with presenters. They will also give parents and carers the opportunity to connect, chat and share their CBeebies experiences with CBeebies and one another.
The re-launch follows consultation with parents and carers who felt that the old site had a lot of content but was difficult to use and a little uninspiring.
What do you think of the new site? Do you use it?
The BBC CBeebies “Bedtime Hour”, which runs from 6-7pm on the CBeebies channel, is popular with parents and children, though it can’t please everyone all of the time.
Every so often the hour gets a bit of a refresh, with some shows moving or disappearing to make way for new ones or old favourites.
From Monday 3rd October, Charlie & Lola and 64 Zoo Street will make way for Waybuloo. In The Night Garden and The Bedtime Story will remain in place.
Judging by comments on the CBeebies Facebook page, some parents really welcome the change while others aren’t so happy.
CBeebies’ controller, Kay Benbow, said that they were always looking at ways to keep the schedule fresh and interesting without causing too much disruption to routines.
Fortunately, thanks to technology, many parents will have the option to watch ‘missing’ favourite shows via the iPlayer.
TV should never be a necessity in a child’s routine but there’s no doubt the BBC’s award-winning channel has won a place in many families’ hearts.
What do you think of the changes?
Gary Barlow will be bringing together some of the biggest and best musicians and bands for a massive concert in Manchester on Thursday 17th November 2011, one day before this year’s Children in Need.
The lineup includes:
- Michael Buble
- Lady Gaga
- Hugh Laurie
- James Morrison
- N Dubz
- Snow Patrol
- Ed Sheeran
with further names being confirmed in the coming weeks.
The concert will be hosted by Fearne Cotton, Chris Moyles and David Tennant and simulcast on BBC One, BBC HD and Radio 1 from 8pm on the night.
The evening will contain surprise guests and Appeal Films of the work BBC Children in Need does with disadvantaged children in the UK, as well as the spectacular line-up. There will also be some never-before seen surprise collaborations in honour of the event.
Gary Barlow said, “I’m so thrilled that these incredible artists are giving their time for such a special charity that is very close to my heart. I can’t wait to see it all come together on November 17, there are still some great acts we’re keeping up our sleeve to announce in the coming weeks and who knows, I might even sing a little something on the night too.”
Host Chris Moyles said, “It’s an amazing line up and great that it’s in the north of England. Handy for Gary and I to go visit our mums!”
BBC Children in Need CEO, David Ramsden, said, “With Gary’s incredible support we are going to be able to change thousands of young lives right here in the UK. He has put together an amazing line-up for an unforgettable evening which will raise lots of money for disadvantaged children who desperately need our help.”
Tickets will go on sale at 9am on Friday 16 September and are priced £95, £85, £75, £65 and £55.
More information is available at bbc.co.uk/pudsey.
Tony Marchant should be well known for adult dramas such as Holding On, The Mark of Cain and Garrow’s Law. This three-part drama for children will be filmed entirely on location in South London.
Set in a neighbourhood in transition – a cosmopolitan melting pot where kids from well-heeled families live side-by-side with asylum seekers, Postcode will chart the ups and downs of a diverse set of characters as they rub shoulders on a daily basis.
Postcode stars Roger Nsengiyumva, Manpreet Bambra, Robert Eades, Sebastian Nanena, Yusra Warsama, Amanda Abbington and Shaun Dooley.
The drama follows the friendships and frustrations among a group of young people from backgrounds as diverse as Somalian, Polish, Pakistani and Irish who share a postcode but very little else. With some families facing deportation and others worrying about maintaining their family lifestyle, on the surface they have little in common. But united by football, music and the laws of the street, the youngsters have to find a way to get along.
Executive producer Elaine Sperber says: “Tony Marchant’s Postcode is a very modern drama about the challenges of breaking down barriers to friendship and a sense of community in today’s urban Britain. It deals with some of the issues and problems that kids face in the 21st century in a compelling but life-affirming way.”
Watch out for Postcode in the CBBC listings later this year.
Jedward are back on the radar. Following their love-hate relationship with the British public in X Factor, and then representing Ireland at the Eurovision Song Contest, they’re back on a tour of Britain.
In Jedward’s Tour of Britain, John and Edward Grimes will learn to be tour guides at some of the UK’s World Heritage sites including Hadrian’s Wall and the Jurassic Coast.
The Vic Reeves Project features the Think Pit, a secret underground location where kids explore important questions like “could a dog ever really be Prime Minister?”, “do flying monkey soldiers exist?” and “if you pick your nose will your head actually cave in?”
Made By Me takes children on the trip of a lifetime across the world to meet the workers responsible for making the products they take for granted, such as trainers and jeans.
The new series will follow five British teenagers to the Philippines and Indonesia where they will witness for themselves the conditions under which their beloved belongings are produced.
As well as visiting the factories where the products are made, the teenagers will also live alongside their host families to gain a real insight into what daily life is like for the people that work so hard to create the items that they normally wouldn’t think twice about the origin of.
Finally, the award-winning CBBC documentary series, My Life, returns in 2012 with four new commissions, each following extraordinary children with unique stories to tell.
From a child waiting to receive a life-saving kidney donation from his mum to a group of teenage boys in London setting up their own fruit and vegetable business, My Life tackles a different subject each week, providing an in-depth look into the contrasting lives of some exceptional young people living in the UK.
It includes Me, My Mum and Her Kidney, Home Grown Boys, Crowning Glory, and Sticks & Stones.
Keep an eye out for these programmes over the coming months.
Baby Jake, 26 refreshingly natural adventures starring a real baby, bounces onto CBeebies this July! Baby Jake, a cute and happy boy, is the youngest of 10 children who live in a windmill with their parents.
His six-year-old brother Isaac is the series narrator who can understand all Baby Jake’s giggles and gurgles and opens the door to an imaginary world where Baby Jake sings, dances and baby-talks with his animal friends Pengy Quin, Sydney the Monkey, Nibbles the Rabbit and the Hamsternauts.
The magical imagination of a child is brought to life through a beautiful mixture of live action and 2D photographic animation in 26 very special stories. Laugh and smile with Baby Jake as he…
…discovers dandelion clocks in Baby Jake Loves Playing Chase. Baby Jake is joined by Nibbles the Rabbit in a countryside adventure where they float up to the sky on dandelions, ride fluffy white clouds and chase rainbows.
…flies to outer space with the Hamsternauts in Baby Jake Loves Peek-a-boo. Baby Jake and Captain Spacey ride a comet through the galaxy, passing stars and planets until they land on the sunflower sun – great fun for playing peek-a-boo!
… wraps up in his woolly snow hat in Baby Jake Loves Tummy Sliding. Baby Jake can’t balance on his feet in the snow so he slides on his tummy instead – wheeeeee! When he discovers a magical oceanic world beneath the snow, Pengy Quin teaches Baby Jake how to swim, and they go for a sail (and a toboggan!) in their slidey shell boats.
…goes on a vegetable patch adventure in Baby Jakes Loves to Wriggle. Baby Jake and Nibbles the Rabbit discover runner beans…and a special runner bean which wriggles away. It’s a caterpillar! The friends wriggle after the caterpillar and fly with it as it transforms into a beautiful butterfly.
…embarks on a tropical adventure in Baby Jake Loves Tickle Toes. Swinging through the vines, Baby Jake has lots of tickly fun with Sydney the Monkey, tickling each other and tickling bananas down from the trees.
Baby Jake combines gentle, enchanting storytelling and carefully crafted humour, perfect for pre-school viewers. Embracing the warmth and fun of family and friendships, Baby Jake is visually distinct, bringing to life the magical imagination of a young child and celebrating the special bond between two young siblings. The series begins on Monday 4 July on CBeebies.
By Andy Merrett
Jun 23, 2011
Zak, Tang, Panzee and Drum are all back getting the CBeebies’ audience across the nation grooving on down to the ZingZilla’s sound. At home on their tropical island paradise, this band of loveable primate friends love to play fantastic music, inspiring young musical minds everywhere. Gorilla and lead singer, Zak, provide vocals while musical genius and lead guitarist, Tang the orang-utan, creates the toe-tapping, finger-clicking compositions.
Under the guidance of their mentor, music guru DJ Loose, they create their unique ZingZilla sound in time for their daily performance, The Big Zing.
Will ZingZillas merchandise be as popular this Christmas as it was last year? Time will tell.
Each Numbat (which we haven’t seen yet; we don’t know if they’ll look the same as the endangered banded anteater) has a number stamped onto its brightly coloured belly, so little ones will have no difficulty picking them out.
Each episode also features a ‘masked’ Numbat who sneaks out into the real world looking for numbers in every day settings, such as a door or telephone, so that children can learn to identify numbers in their own surroundings.
The series features a mix of live action and computer generated animation thanks to “green screen” technology — as will also be used in Andy’s Wild Adventures. This will allow the Numbats to interact with children (presumably in a more high-tech manner than The Hoobs).