cbbcCBBC has announced two new commissions: DNN and Family By Sea.

DNN is a 13×30-minute weekly show, due to air in Spring/Summer 2013, taking in the past seven days in news and popular culture.

Set in a spoof news studio, the cast of larger-than-life news anchors and correspondents will put their own unique spin on topical stories through irreverent sketches, hilarious archive clips as well as plenty of silly physical comedy.

The show will cover stories dominating the agenda in news, politics, weather, education, current affairs, sport, TV and film as well as the most popular viral videos. The show’s start-up executive producer is Jamie Rea. Continue reading »

CBBC has commissioned Lime Pictures to produce original children’s drama The Knot. The three-part drama is currently filming in the Isle of Man and will transmit on CBBC later in the year.

The series features a host of well-known faces, including Debra Stephenson, Mark Moraghan and Kelle Bryan alongside some breakthrough talent.

Set in the heart of the Isle of Man and surrounded by the Irish sea, The Knot is a special place, where raw and rugged nature plays host to a stream of kids with complex lives, all fostered by Peter (Anthony Flanagan) and Sarah Boulsworth (Debra Stephenson) and their kids, Rocket aged 11 (Joseph Gallucci) and Alli aged 14 (Helen Smith). Continue reading »

CBBC Productions has added three new commissions to its in-house factual and entertainment slates – in a first for the popular duo, Dick and Dom are turning their attention to the world of inventions, celebrating some of the world’s most important inventors and scientists in Absolute Genius; new game show DareDevils puts families to the test to see what they are prepared to do to win unique prizes; and Earth Shock explores the true power of planet Earth.

Key CBBC talent Dick and Dom will host a brand new format, Dick And Dom’s Absolute Genius, a 10×30-minute series executive produced by Newsround editor Owenna Griffiths, in which they investigate the work of important inventors and scientists in history. Continue reading »

Cheryl Taylor has been appointed as the new Controller of CBBC – the BBC’s children’s channel for 6-12 year olds.

Cheryl is currently the BBC’s Controller for Comedy Commissioning and has championed hit series including Not Going Out, Miranda, Rev, Twenty Twelve, Outnumbered, Watson And Oliver, Mrs Brown’s Boys and White Van Man.

Cheryl, who is already based in Salford, was the first genre controller to be located outside London when she was appointed in 2009. Continue reading »

Award-winning channel CBBC has commissioned a raft of new in-house entertainment and factual programmes, reinforcing its commitment to producing original children’s content.

Commissioned by CBBC Controller Damian Kavanagh, the new programmes include Secret World Of…, a documentary series which proves that being famous isn’t a one man show; Hoopla, which invites viewers into Dick and Dom’s very own magical funfair and second series of both Alesha’s Street Dance Stars and Sam & Mark’s Big Friday Wind-Up, commissioned by the CBBC Productions team in Salford.

The CBBC team at BBC Scotland has also been commissioned to create the new documentary series Superhumans, which looks at real-life superheroes and their amazing talents, and All Over the Place USA which follows Ed Petrie and his CBBC friends as they take a trip around the United States of America.

The CBBC Scotland team will also be making a second series of the popular canine talent show Who Let The Dogs Out, plus Who Let The Dogs Out and About, a magazine style roadshow series that will be presented from various locations across the UK.

Damian Kavanagh says: “These recent additions to the CBBC pipeline are all very different and each brings something new for our audience to experience and enjoy. It’s important that we continue to offer children programmes they wouldn’t find anywhere else except on CBBC.”


New Commissions


Secret World (5 x 30 minute programmes)

Lots of children say they want to be famous when they grow up…but being famous isn’t a one man show.

This exciting new series will peel back the curtains on fame to reveal the huge network of people working tirelessly to create, guide and advise just one person.

The series includes a journey behind the scenes with dance crew Flawless as they embark on a ground-breaking collaboration with the English National Ballet; a peek at what it takes to find a new young star for Shrek the Musical; a trip behind the scenes with the Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow; a look at what it takes to make a TV show with Dani Harmer and a profile of the under 18s team at Manchester City’s Football Academy, as they strive for greatness both on and off the pitch.

Secret World is executive produced for CBBC by Gurdip Bhangoo and series produced by Hugh Lawton.


Hoopla (10 x 60 minute programme)

They used to live in a bungalow…now they’ve run away to the circus!

CBBC legends Dick and Dom are back and this time they’re the ringmasters of their very own funfair, packed to the rafters with oddities, games and pure entertainment of the kind that only Dick and Dom can provide.

There’s a carnival atmosphere as our comedic hosts guide us round their new home, complete with a big top, rides, side shows and tents full of mystery, promise and plenty of celebrity guests.

Hoopla is executive produced by Annette Williams for CBBC and series produced by Steve Ryde.


Alesha’s Street Dance Stars (10 x 30 minute programmes)

Alesha Dixon is on a mission to find Britain’s most original, entertaining and accomplished young street dancing crew, as Alesha’s Street Dance Stars heads back to CBBC for a second series.

She’ll be scouring the nation for eye-popping, jaw-dropping routines matched with tight showmanship and electrifying acrobatic dance skills, as dance crews of up to 12 young street dancers compete to win the title of Alesha’s Street Dance Stars 2012. 

The series is executive produced by Simon Marsh and series produced by Julie Kelling.


Sam & Mark’s Big Friday Wind-Up (10 x 60 minute programmes)

Pranks, games and surprises are around every corner with Sam & Mark’s Big Friday Wind-Up, which returns to CBBC for a second action-packed series.

Full of fun, the show takes viewers on a roller-coaster ride into the weekend in the way that only Sam & Mark can. With celebrity appearances and regular live musical performances from some of the hottest stars of the moment, combined with a host of sketches, pranks and games, Sam & Mark’s show is the best way to wind-up the week.

Sam & Mark’s Big Friday Wind-Up is executive produced by Simon Marsh and series produced by David Beardsell.


Superhumans (10 x 28 minute programmes)

Prepare to be amazed as we follow extreme enthusiast and explorer Tim Fizthigham as he tracks down real life Superhumans and tests himself against them, in an attempt to become the ultimate Superhuman.

Each programme will follow the story of an amazing individual, such as the real life Iceman, Daredevil, Incredible Hulk, Spiderman, The Flash and Batboy. Tim learns how the human body copes in extreme situations – and how some individuals have the ability to do superhuman things against the odds.

Superhumans is executive produced by Louise Corbett.


Who Let the Dogs Out? (15 x 30 minute programmes)

Do you know a clever canine? Want to meet some totally amazing mutts? Then join champion dog trainer Zak George in the Dog House and find out just how incredible Britain’s top pups can be!

Who Let the Dogs Out? returns for a second series, scouring the country to find the most talented dogs the UK has to offer.

Presented by Zak George, Who Let the Dogs Out? is executive produced by Yvonne Jennings and produced by Claire Gillies.


Who Let the Dogs Out and About? (10 x 60 minute programmes)

The popular CBBC show heads out around the UK, as Zak George presents a series of magazine-style roadshows which invite children from all over the UK to come and visit with (or without!) their dogs.

The hour-long programmes will air on CBBC in the Autumn.

Who Let the Dogs Out and About? is executive produced by Yvonne Jennings and produced by Chris Hulme.


All Over the Place USA (13 x 30 minute programmes)

All Over the Place returns to CBBC for a third series, and this time Ed Petrie and his CBBC mates are off to the USA.

Ed is joined by Naomi Wilkinson, Jonny Pitts, Cellach Spellman, Iain Stirling and Michelle Ackerley on a bizarre quest to find the most unusual, strange and amazing places to visit in the United States of America.

All Over the Place USA is executive produced by Louise Corbett and produced by Maria Stewart.

As President of the IOC Jacques Rogge praises London 2012 for its ‘legacy blueprint’, elite sports stars including Jessica Ennis, Victoria Pendleton and Perri Shakes-Drayton have pledged their support for CBBC’s sports series Ultimate Sports Day for its efforts in encouraging young people to participate in sport.

This weekend the series climaxes as the top four youngsters form the Ultimate Sports Day All Stars to face off against an Olympic Dream Team in grand finale on Saturday 31st March. They test their mettle against Amy Williams, Kelly Sotherton, Phillips Idowu and Harry Aikines-Aryeetey.

Leading the sports stars offering their support is Olympic Hephathlete Jessica Ennis who says: “I was involved in the original pitch for Ultimate Sports Day and it’s great to see that the programme has been so inspirational to so many young people. It is more important now than ever to have an inspirational sports show for children on TV to build on the enthusiasm that the Olympic Games generates!”

Team GB cycling star Victoria Pendleton adds: “The Olympics is a great opportunity to encourage kids to participate in sport but this needs to be maintained after the Games finish. Ultimate Sports Day is the perfect show to encourage kids sporting participation; exciting games, covering all sports skill sets and the chance to learn from some sporting heroes, why was this not around when I was younger?!” 400m Olympic champion Christine Ohuruogu concurs: “I wish there was a programme like this when I was a child.”

Leaping forward to praise the show is 400m hurdler and Olympic medal hopeful Perri Shakes-Drayton who says: “I get up every Saturday for Ultimate Sports Day, I love the programme. Olympic athletes mentoring young kids – what more do you need as motivation to get into sport.”

Making its debut on Saturday mornings earlier this year, Ultimate Sports Day was filmed at Scotland’s state-of-the-art Ravenscraig sports centre, and saw four teams of four young athletes from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland run, jump, shoot, climb and ride their way to become champions under the watchful eye of mentors Dean Macey, Christian Malcolm, Sinead Kerr and Barry McGuigan.

This week it’s time for professional sports stars to put their necks on the line in a final double episode as an Ultimate Sports Day competitor from each home nation joins an All Stars team to take on the might of the Olympic Dream Team.

Olympic Dream Team captain, Winter Olympic gold medallist Amy Williams enthuses: “I thoroughly enjoyed the time I spent with the competitors on Ultimate Sports Day. The games were fun but challenging and it is great to such sporting talent in British children.”

Medal-winning triple jumper Phillips Idowu, OBE adds: “Having been up to the Ultimate Sports Day sports centre in selection week to play basketball with the kids, it was great to go back and compete in bungee basketball at the end of the series. Kids are hugely influenced by what they watch on TV and it’s fantastic to have been a part of a sports show they can aspire to be on. I would love to be a mentor on USD one day and to see my kids take part.”

Hosted by Ore Oduba (BBC Sport and CBBC’s Newsround presenter), each episode tested the teams’ sports skills through a series of ‘Ultimate Events’ such as the breathtaking Skywalker and the bouncy Bungee Basketball, specially devised for the series by respected Sports Professor and trainer Greg Whyte – the man who guided John Bishop, Eddie Izzard and David Walliams in their sporting endeavours for Sport Relief.

Ultimate Sports Day is produced by The Foundation Scotland, part of Zodiak Media Group. The Executive Producers for the series are Steven Andrew and Simon Parsons for The Foundation and Kez Margrie for CBBC. The series was created by Jonathan Marks from MTC (UK) Ltd.

The final double episode of Ultimate Sports Day featuring the USD All Stars against the Olympic Dream Team, followed by a special highlights programme can be seen on CBBC and BBC Two on Saturday, March 31 from 9am.

Investigative journalist Sarah Jane Smith and her gang of young sidekicks are back, as the final ever episodes of the award-winning The Sarah Jane Adventures are broadcast on CBBC from Monday 3 October.

The six episodes making up the fifth series of The Sarah Jane Adventures were all filmed before the sad death of much-loved actress Elisabeth Sladen earlier this year.

Lis first appeared as Sarah Jane in Doctor Who in 1973 and remained on the iconic programme for three-and-a-half series alongside the Third Doctor, Jon Pertwee, and the Fourth Doctor, Tom Baker. She returned to the role in 2007 in her own spin-off series on CBBC.

The Sarah Jane Adventures brought Lis to a whole new generation of fans who grew to love her alien-busting adventures.

Created by Russell T Davies, this new series of the hugely successful Doctor Who spin-off features new aliens, surprising arrivals, and the usual mix of thrills, scares and fun. Sarah Jane and her gang are thrown into the middle of a war between two deadly aliens, Fleshkind and Metalkind, Clyde finds himself out on the streets when an alien curse turns his friends against him, and Sarah Jane confronts the mysterious Mr Serf and discovers the secret of his success – he has alien slaves in his basement!

Elisabeth Sladen plays Sarah Jane Smith alongside young stars Tommy Knight as Luke, Daniel Anthony as Clyde and Anjli Mohindra as Rani. This series introduces a brand new member of the gang, Sky, played by Sinead Michael. 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.

The Sarah Jane Adventures is executive produced by Russell T Davies and Nikki Wilson and is produced by Brian Minchin. Writers include Phil Ford and Gareth Roberts.

The Sarah Jane Adventures will air on Monday and Tuesdays on CBBC. For more information please visit The Sarah Jane Adventures website

The Sarah Jane Adventures is a BBC Cymru Wales/CBBC production.

Helen Bullough has been appointed as Head of CBBC Production with responsibility for all in house production for CBBC in MediaCityUK.

She’ll lead a team of over 200 staff, creating shows such as Blue Peter, Newsround, Tracy Beaker Returns, Legend Of Dick And Dom and Serious Explorers.

Helen is currently Head of Entertainment Production North in Manchester and Head of Vision North. She is responsible for a team of 130 staff in Manchester that produce key network shows including Mastermind, Question Of Sport, Dragon’s Den and Antiques Master. For the last two years Helen has also been Head of Vision North, leading the Manchester-based Vision departments through the migration to MediaCityUK.

Director of BBC Children’s, Joe Godwin, says: “Helen brings a wealth of experience across many genres and will be a brilliant leader for CBBC’s in-house production team and a fabulous addition to Children’s senior management team.”

Helen joined the BBC in 1991 as a Broadcast Journalist Trainee in News, moving to Manchester in 1993 to work on the Daytime and Features slate. She has worked in the North ever since on a wide range of output ranging from religious documentaries to Rough Guides; Fred Dibnah to Dragon’s Den. She ran the Manchester Entertainment development team for three years and has developed and executive produced shows for BBC One, Two, Three and Four plus multiplatform and Red Button output.

She says: “I’m thrilled! I’ve always had a brilliant time in Manchester working with the teams here. Now this is a fantastic creative opportunity to join talented inhouse colleagues at CBBC in MediaCity UK, helping to deliver the next generation of content to the next generation of BBC audiences – inspired by the North and delighting young viewers everywhere.”

Helen lives with her family on the edge of the Peak District.

CBBC Controller Damian Kavanagh has commissioned Objective Productions to make a brand new food series called Incredible Edibles.

This 10×30 part series presented by fearless foodie and presenter of Gastronuts, Stefan Gates, once again aims to encourage children to open their minds to a whole new world of culinary creativity by introducing new methods of cooking, offering them new ingredients and asking them to question more closely what they eat and where it comes from.

From cooking with a JCB, sampling braised duck tongues and uncovering exactly what goes into an everyday hotdog, to engineering a rocket-powered baking powder, Incredible Edibles is a kids’ cooking show like no other.

For the first time the show will go on the road and see Stefan and his team tour the UK experimenting with food in front of a live audience. On tour the team will also uncover some of the hidden truths about how some of the nation’s favourite foods are actually made as well as cooking some long-forgotten local delicacies.

Stefan says: “Incredible Edibles is quite simply the wildest and most adventurous food series ever made: we’re touring the country discovering extraordinary foods and meeting brilliant, fearless kids to experiment with it in front of a big audience.

“We never lecture them on what’s good or bad, what’s healthy or unhealthy, but instead we challenge ourselves to inspire them to find food fascinating, fun and… okay… just a little bit naughty. But it’s the best way I can think of to help our kids become happier and healthier and to turn Britain back into a nation of real food-lovers.”

BBC executive producer Bridget Banton says: “We hope to take the audience on a culinary journey up and down the UK and amaze them with incredible facts behind some of their favourite foods.”

Paul Gilheany, executive producer for Objective Productions adds: “Stef has eaten everything from sheep’s eyeballs to fresh cane rat in the past so we hope to add to his reputation as the man who will eat anything cooked anyway.”

Incredible Edibles is made by Objective Productions, part of the All 3 Media Group. Executive producer for Objective is Paul Gilheany and executive producer for CBBC is Bridget Banton.

The multi-award winning Horrible Histories returns to CBBC in May with another series packed to the rafters with fascinating facts, silly songs, popular pastiches and gruesome gags.

This year children will be treated to a double dose of historical fun as the brand-new game show Gory Games presented by Come Dine With Me’s Dave Lamb and Horrible Histories’ very own Rattus Rattus will run alongside Horrible Histories to delight and disgust its young audience in equal measure.

Series three follows on from the phenomenal success of series two which waltzed away with the Best Sketch Show gong at the British Comedy Awards, gaining the prestige of being the first ever children’s programme to be recognised at the ceremony.

Damian Kavanagh, Controller CBBC, says: “Horrible Histories is a stand-out critical and ratings success for CBBC loved as much by adults as by our young viewers. The 11 awards the series has now picked are testament to its enormous appeal. Series three is a belter and is even bigger and better than the last.”

Based on the best-selling books written by Terry Deary and illustrated by Martin Brown, Horrible Histories features performances from some of the UK’s finest comedy talent.

Series three features special guest star Tanni Grey-Thompson as a news presenter in The Olympic Games Sport Report, David Baddiel (Baddiel And Skinner Unplanned, Newman and Baddiel) returns as Vincenzo Larfoff, and Dave Lamb also voices another spoof Come Dine With Me.

The series also stars Horrible Histories’ main cast Mathew Baynton (Gavin & Stacey), Simon Farnaby (Your Highness), Martha Howe Douglas (The Armstrong & Miller Show) Jim Howick (Reggie Perrin), Laurence Rickard (Armstrong And Miller) and Ben Willbond (Rev). Terry Deary also pops up during the series playing a series of cameos including the Venerable Bede.

Packed full of strange facts, rotten rulers, gory battles, crazy inventions and weird and wonderful moments from the past, Horrible Histories offers a tantalising taste of days gone by. Series three covers every era from the Stone Age to the First World War, with new additions including terrible tales from the Angry Aztecs, the Fabulous French and the Nasty Knights.

From Slimy Stuarts to Groovy Greeks and Awful Egyptians to Gorgeous Georgians, each episode features a mixture of sketches from different ages, plus commentary from the show’s talented host Rattus Rattus the talking rat. And there are pastiches of some familiar television formats, including Masterchef, Wife Swap, Fashion Fix, Gardeners World, Dragons Den and Come Dine With Me.

Death returns to quiz the recently deceased on the manner of their demise in Stupid Deaths, Shouty Man promotes a range of goods from across the ages and more patients are treated for bizarre cures from the Historical Paramedics.

No series of Horrible Histories would be complete without a selection of historical songs and this series the show has surpassed itself with a devilishly difficult ditty which features every Monarch from William the Conqueror to Queen Elizabeth II. Other featured tunes include an Adam Ant style homage to Dick Turpin, and songs about suffragettes and bad emperors. As a special treat the final episode will feature a special compilation of songs from the series.

Series producer Caroline Norris says: “Our viewers never fail to surprise us with their passion for the show; they pick up the lyrics so quickly that we thought we would try to make things a little more difficult for them with our Ruthless Rulers song. Our composer Richie Webb has done an amazing job and I think it will take a while for fans of the show to learn it as we have purposely made it very tricky.”

Returning to pen the series are some of Britain’s finest comedy writers including Steve Punt, Jon Holmes (Dead Ringers) Giles Pilbrow (Have I Got News For You), Laurence Rickard (Armstrong And Miller) and Ben Ward (M.I. High).

The Horrible historical fun does not end with the series there will be a free Horrible Histories Family Prom on Saturday 30 July which will also be televised on CBBC and Stephen Fry will present a special edited version with highlights from series one and three for BBC One later in the year.

Horrible Histories is a Lion TV and Citrus Television co-production for CBBC based on the best-selling series of books licensed by Scholastic Media and published by Scholastic UK.

The series is produced by Imogen Cooper, directed by Dominic Brigstocke and Giles Pilbrow, series producer is Caroline Norris. Richard Bradley is executive producer for Lion TV and Melissa Hardinge for CBBC.

Shot in HD the new series will air on CBBC. The series will be supported online with games and additional features at bbc.co.uk/cbbc and there will be a special Horrible Histories Join Anytime Quiz and karaoke on CBBC Extra on BBC Red Button.

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