Old Jack’s Boat: Bernard Cribbins brings the art of storytelling to CBeebies

Old Jack's Boat: Bernard Cribbins & Salty the Dog

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.