Duchess of Cambridge to read CBeebies bedtime story for Children’s Mental Health Week


The Duchess of Cambridge (Image: Kensington Palace)

The CBeebies Bedtime Story studio has been no stranger to a celebrity or two over the years, with the successful short format programme attracting both young children and their parents to see who’ll be sharing story time with them next.

Famous faces have included Tom Hardy, Suranne Jones, Jessica Ennis-Hill, David Tennant, Maureen Lipman, Brian Cox, Rosamund Pike, Maxine Peake, Nadiya Hussain, Sarah Gordy and Isla Fisher.

To conclude Children’s Mental Health Week (7-13 Feb), a touch of royalty will be entering the building, as HRH The Duchess of Cambridge will read The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark by Jill Tomlinson, following this year’s theme of “Growing Together”.

Children’s Mental Health Week is a key national moment for spotlighting and recognising children’s mental health. This year children and adults are being encouraged to consider how they have grown emotionally, recognising that trying new things can help people move beyond their comfort zones, and that challenges and setbacks can help them to mature and adapt.



The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark, illustrated by Paul Howard, follows the story of Plop, a baby barn owl, who is helped by others to grow in confidence and overcome his fears.

Patricia Hidalgo, Director of BBC Children’s and Education says: “I couldn’t be more proud to have The Duchess read a CBeebies Bedtime Story as we mark the 20th anniversary of our CBeebies and CBBC channels. It’s such a special and relevant tale and perfectly represents this years’ Children’s Mental Health Week theme. I can’t wait to see her deliver her own take on such a classic story and I’m sure our audience can’t either.”

The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark read by The Duchess of Cambridge will air at 6.50pm, Sunday 13 February.