As CBeebies enters an exciting new chapter with the move to Salford, BBC writersroom has teamed up with the Bafta-winning channel to launch a new competition, Get a Squiggle On! This exciting opportunity gives new, talented writers from different backgrounds and experiences an opportunity to develop. 

Kate Rowland, BBC Creative Director of New Writing and Head of BBC Writersroom, said: “It’s a pleasure to be working with CBeebies as it plays such an important role in offering original programming for the under-six audience. It’s at this age when our emotional engagement with characters and stories truly starts”.

For full details of the competition and how to enter visit the BBC writersroom website.

Controller of CBeebies Kay Benbow has commissioned a new 40 x 15 minute wildlife series from the BBC’s famed Natural History Unit.

Showcasing the talents of Bafta-nominated CBeebies presenter Andy Day and utilising the NHU’s stunning archive, Andy’s Wild Adventures will use the latest digital CGI and green-screen technology to take Andy right into the very heart of the action and bring animal encounters vividly to life for CBeebies’ young viewers.

Andy Day is a keeper at a large, busy animal park. Every day he does the rounds, chatting to the animals he sees along the way and doing his chores before reporting back to his trusty and curious sidekick, a puppet cat. Although he’s a very knowledgeable keeper, Andy doesn’t have the answers to all of his feline friend’s questions, so together they decide that a Fact File mission – beyond the zoo – is what’s needed to find out more.

Armed with the kit they need for their trip, Andy and his puppet pal squeeze into their high-spec, all-terrain vehicle and are catapulted into the heart of a wildlife hot spot. And so the adventure begins with Andy as the guide, and his trusted companion back at command central in the buggy…

Taking viewers where no other wildlife presenter has ever dared to go, Andy’s Wild Adventures opens up a world of incredible wildlife images and jaw-dropping facts as they explore some of the wildest and most fascinating places on Earth.

“Andy’s Wild Adventures is a wonderful combination of great CBeebies talent and amazing Natural History Unit expertise which will really inspire our youngest viewers to learn about animals,” says Kay Benbow. “They’re going to be transported right into the heart of the wildlife action, without leaving the safety of their sofas!”

Andy’s Wild Adventures will transmit on CBeebies in 2012. The executive producer is Wendy Darke (Deadly 60) and the series producer is Charlotte Crosse.

Joe Godwin today (Monday 22 March) launches his first season of programmes as Director of BBC Children’s. He introduces a line-up designed to delight, inspire and entertain CBeebies’ young audience.

“I’m delighted to be able to launch my first season of programmes as Director of BBC Children’s.

“CBeebies remains the UK’s most watched and loved channel for the under-sixes. Almost half of all pre-schoolers tune in to CBeebies each week, but we are not resting on our laurels and this new season of programmes will have something to excite and delight children everywhere.

“This is a really exciting time to be working for BBC Children’s. We’ve already increased our investment in children’s programming to a record high and the BBC Strategy Review, published this month, is proposing an additional spend of £10 million per year to reinforce its position as one the BBC’s top five editorial priorities.

“We hope this additional investment will help us make even more outstanding, UK-made programmes like the ones we are announcing today.”

Taking centre stage in the new Spring/Autumn season of CBeebies are musical sensations Zingzillas – a band of highly-talented primates who, with the help of a stellar cast of musicians from around the world and across the range of musical genres, encourage children to discover and make all kinds of music. Developed and produced by the in-house CBeebies Production department, this major new show will get under-sixes across the nation tapping their feet and making music Zingzilla-style.

Other highlights include: Mighty Mites – an energetic new series which inspires children to get off the sofa to try a range of exciting activities, from circus skills to skiing and kite-flying to tree-planting. Presented by CBeebies’ favourite Sarah-Jane Honeywell, each programme will see two children go on an adventure to try an activity for the first time while children at home are encouraged to join in the action too.

CBeebies’ favourite making-man, Mister Maker, is back with a new series which sees him packing up his crafts box and taking his artistic talents on the road in Mister Maker Comes To Town. Revving up his “maker-mobile”, the making maestro will be visiting “mini-makers” in the north west and finding amazing new ways to inspire young children to enjoy art and crafts at home.

From Chinese New Year to Christmas and Eid al-Futr to Diwali, Let’s Celebrate takes the under sixes on a noisy, musical and vibrant tour of the UK showing how children experience different religious and cultural festivals around the country. Meeting families and groups of children who are getting ready for a festival – be it dressing up, decorating the house, preparing food or exchanging gifts – Let’s Celebrate joins in the fun and excitement of their celebrations.

There’s a new band of heroes splashing onto CBeebies screens later in the year as The Octonauts take children on a series of exciting underwater adventures. Based on the thrilling books by Meomi, The Octonauts rescue sea animals, explore underwater worlds and transport children to a world they don’t normally visit deep under the ocean.

The nation’s children take centre stage in Same Smile as presenter Nisha Anil cycles across the UK with her group of three cuddly pandas to visit children and discover that we are all the same, but different. A collaboration involving BBC teams from Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and London, Same Smile opens a window on the world of young children, celebrating the diversity of their lives.

New girl in town Rosie is on a mission to teach children the importance of friendship in Everything’s Rosie. A 21st century rag doll, Rosie lives in a magical playhouse and is armed with an infectious sense of adventure. Rosie and her colourful band of pals are on a journey of discovery, embracing everyday conundrums, triumphs and disappointments as they learn the meaning of true friendship.

Timmy, the lovable little lamb with a lot to learn, is back at nursery and having more fun than ever before in Timmy Time. Made by Oscar-winning studio Aardman, the home of Wallace And Gromit, Creature Comforts and Shaun The Sheep, Timmy and his friends are embarking on a whole new set of farmyard frolics in this next series, exclusive to CBeebies.

Tinga Tinga Tales returns to enchant children with a new series of fantastical animal stories inspired by African folk tales and the Tingatinga art of Tanzania. From the elephant’s trunk to the tortoise’s shell, Tinga Tinga Tales reveals more tall stories which explain how our favourite animals came to be the way they are today.

A highly-talented cast including James Bolam, Sanjeev Bhaskar, Susan Jameson, Liza Goddard, Geoffrey Palmer and Alex Jennings light up a second series of ratings-busting show Grandpa In My Pocket. Following the adventures of a mischievous grandfather with a magic shrinking cap, it has been a huge hit with children since its launch last year and can now be seen in more than 100 countries.

Finally, little chefs everywhere are encouraged to get back in the kitchen and cook up a storm in a second series of I Can Cook. Each episode presenter Katy welcomes five children into the I Can Cook kitchen to create a recipe of the day, as they learn how to grow it, cook it and eat it and discover the magic of the full cycle of food.

The BBC has spoken out to defend disabled CBeebies presenter Cerrie Burnell, after some parents complained that she was “scaring” their children.

CBeebies programme controller Michael Carrington described Cerrie as “warm and natural”, adding that her disability should not be an issue. Cerrie was born with one arm, but has been able to pursue a television and teaching assistant career.

“She was appointed because she was the best person for the job. We see no reason for her to try to hide her disability and are surprised that in 2009 this should even be raised as an issue,” said a BBC spokesperson.

Cerrie revealed that she hopes her disability can be used to raise awareness. “It can only be a good thing that parents are using me as a chance to talk disability with their children,” she said.

“It just goes to show how important it is to have positive disabled role models on CBeebies and television in general.”

Nine official complaints have been made to the BBC about Cerrie Burnell, but internet message boards have been flooded with other comments about the host.

One parent said: “My daughter is only two and notices her arm. She thinks she is hurt every day.”

Some commented about how she gave their children nightmares, while others complained they had been forced to discuss illness and disability at what they considered to be too-early an age. Some posts made on the CBeebies message boards were inappropriate and were removed by moderators. Posters also accused the BBC of hiring 29-year-old Cerrie because of “political correctness” to meet disability employment quotas.

Michael Carrington, CBeebies Creative Director, today announced three major new commissions for the BBC’s youngest children’s brand.

Destined for BBC Two and the CBeebies digital channel, the fun-packed series celebrate community, song and the formative relationships in little ones’ lives.

Michael Carrington said: “I’m thrilled that CBeebies is able to attract outstanding talent and expertise to work with us. Young children will be captivated by these three new series which have been created to support their personal development and inspire their creativity and sense of fun.”

Carrie & David’s Popshop

Made by BBC Scotland, Carrie & David’s Popshop is an innovative and interactive music show with a difference presented by Carrie and David Grant of the BBC’s Fame Academy.

David and Carrie have a Popshop – the best song shop in the world! Every day, a customer calls into the shop in need of a song and with some help from Riff the dog, CBeebies and the viewers singing along at home, they create and perform a brand new original pop song.

Grandpa In My Pocket

Take one seriously grumpy Grandpa and his imaginative seven-year old grandson, Jason Mason. Give Grandpa a magic shrinking cap and watch him turn into the biggest kid of the lot!

In this witty series, created by Mellie Buse and Jan Page from Adastra Creative, Jason’s Grandpa can make himself small enough to hide in all sorts of unlikely places. When he’s small he’s great fun to be with, but full of mischief.

Grandpa In My Pocket explores the hugely important relationship between grandchildren and grandparents by turning it on its head. Jason and Grandpa’s adventures will be fantastical, touching and bizarre – but always hilariously funny.

3rd & Bird!

3rd & Bird! is a charming new animated series all about community. The series will be co-produced by CBeebies Productions and Little Airplane Productions using their own unique style known as “photo-puppetry animation”.

Each episode is filled with music and songs and features Samuel Lovebird, an adorable young bird who is learning all about his family, his neighbours and his friends.

The show has been created by Josh Selig – creator of the internationally-successful series The Wonderpets!

All three shows will be shown on CBeebies in 2008.

Children’s favourite, CBeebies, is getting a brand new look and three exclusive new shows this March.

With a dedicated programme for each age group, there’s a special treat for all including a magical delight from the creators of Teletubbies, live action animal adventures and animated superhero escapades.

Screening alongside award-winning and established favourites such as LazyTown, Charlie and Lola and Big Cook, Little Cook, CBeebies is the place for children to be this Spring.

The three new shows are In The Night Garden, Mama Mirabelle’s Home Movies and Tommy Zoom.

Made by acclaimed children’s specialists and creators of Teletubbies, Ragdoll’s Anne Wood and Andy Davenport’s latest production is In The Night Garden.

Filmed in a real woodland setting, In The Night Garden is a magical programme, for the under-4s, about the dreaming time between waking and sleeping. Reached by following a magical little, blue star, the Night Garden is a warm and affectionate world which is home to a comical and diverse community of toys, living happily together.

They include the curious and adventurous, Igglepiggle, who is like a well-loved teddy and the happy and optimistic, Upsy Daisy, who loves to dance regardless of the occasion. Filmed in HD, the series is narrated by Sir Derek Jacobi.

Perfect for 3 to 5-year-olds, Mama Mirabelle’s Home Movies celebrates the comedy, drama and gentle wisdom of the animal kingdom through a vibrant blend of animation and live action clips extracted from thousands of hours of the BBC’s Natural History Unit and the National Geographic’s outstanding archives.

Mama Mirabelle (voiced by Floella Benjamin) is a sassy, soulful elephant living in the African Savannah. She cares for and plays with her son Max and his friends including Bo the cheetah, Karla the zebra and monkeys Kip, Flip and Chip.

Mama Mirabelle has travelled the globe filming all the animals she’s encountered and, with a loud trumpet, she calls them from every corner of the planet to the Savannah for Movie Time when they gather to share their secrets and adventures.

Especially for 4 to 6-year-olds, Tommy Zoom mixes drama and animation and is narrated by Daniel the dog (voiced by Jerome Flynn).

Daniel and his best friend, Tommy, have a special friendship and together they work out solutions to the everyday problems of life by consulting Tommy’s animated superhero alter-ego, Tommy Zoom.

In their adventures together, Daniel and Tommy Zoom solve dilemmas, face trouble and outwit the evil Polluto and his feline sidekick, Smogg.

Tommy Zoom is CBeebies first multi-platform show with special content also created online and for interactive TV.

Since its launch in 2002, CBeebies has set the standard for children’s broadcasting and recent BBC research revealed that parents and carers want even more of what CBeebies does best – great shows that are fun, adventurous and involving in a safe environment which will educate and entertain their little ones.

Michael Carrington, CBeebies Creative Director, explains: “Parents and carers have told us how much they love CBeebies for its range and style of programming.

“So, as well as launching three exciting new shows, we’re also adapting our daily schedule to help parents steer their kids through the day – getting up and getting them to school, lots of active imaginative programmes for smaller children during the day, fun on the return from school and then winding down for bedtime.

“At each phase of the day, the refreshed, new look CBeebies will have special programmes for each age group.”

March will also see the launch of CBeebies Radio as part of BBC 7. The dedicated children’s network will transmit between 2-5pm daily, jam-packed full of CBeebies characters alongside specially commissioned programming for the under 6s.

As part of the new look channel and the launch of CBeebies on BBC 7, the CBeebies website and interactive TV (red button) components are also being redesigned and will re-launch later in the Spring.

The CBeebies website is already the fourth most visited BBC site and it will now host streaming of CBeebies radio plus a new look Grown Up section with lots of parenting tips, tools and information, as well as mini-sites for each of the three new shows: In The Night Garden, Mama Mirabelle’s Home Movies and Tommy Zoom.

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  • BBC Two
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  • 4
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