New commissions for CBeebies bring crafty upcycling, village drama and Shakespeare to the fore in 2018
CBeebies is also delighted to announce the recommission of familiar faces for the pre-school audience with the return of Time for School (series 3), Yakka Dee – pictured above (series 2 and 3), Magic Hands (series 3), Gigglebiz (series 5), Something Special (series 12), Go Jetters (series 3) and My Petsaurus (series 2). (BBC)
BBC Children’s has secured a great selection of new and returning CBeebies content.
The commissions include content made by CBeebies Productions based in Salford and Scotland, as well as some exciting series made by independent partners for the pre-school audience. The range of bold new commissions includes a drama which holds inclusivity and diversity at it’s heart, some amazing Shakespearean story-telling as well as programming that encourages creativity and innovative thinking.
After seven and a half years as Controller of CBeebies this is Kay Benbow’s last raft of commissions for the channel, she says: “Bringing the arts to life for younger audiences is something I have always been passionate about and so to be announcing The Tempest as our second Shakespeare commission is something I am immensely proud of. I am so proud to be leaving CBeebies in such a strong position with a fantastic raft of new commissions made by both our in-house production teams and our dedicated independent partners. CBeebies is now a multi-genre channel and being able to commission such a rich and diverse range of programmes for our youngest viewers over the past seven years has been an honour and a privilege. I’ll look forward to watching the continuing success of this very special pre-school channel.”
CBeebies is bringing the works of Shakespeare to life for the pre-school audience for a second time with its production of The Tempest, in collaboration with the Royal Shakespeare Company. Filming at the Lawrence Batley Theatre in Huddersfield in February 2018, The Tempest will be broadcast at Easter 2018.
The Tempest is one of Shakespeare’s most popular plays, telling the story of Prospero, the banished Duke of Milan, and his daughter Miranda. Prospero, has spent the time since his banishment studying magic, and is now ready to use his new skills to cause havoc and control his enemies, his wicked brother Antonio and King Alonso.
The 50 minute production will use original Shakespearean text with integrated explanation where necessary, stay true to the story and include all elements as far as possible for the preschool audience – while looking to extend the audience’s fascination with performance, theatre and Shakespeare.
The Tempest will build on the success of the last time the channel brought The Bard to CBeebies, with A Midsummer Night’s Dream in 2016. It was incredibly popular with audience and families as a first introduction to Shakespeare. This production won the RTS Programme Award 2017 for Best Children’s Programme, as well as receiving plaudits across the industry.
As in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Tempest cast will be a combination of CBeebies and Royal Shakespeare Company talent, as well as mainstream actors who have Shakespearan backgrounds.
Steven Kynman will be back as William Shakespeare, this time with backstage help from Swashbuckle’s Captain Captain, Jenni Dale. Justin Fletcher will take on the fantastical Shakespearean role of Caliban.
Exec: Tony Reed
BBC Children’s Production
Lochside is a brand new drama series based on the daily adventures of a Scottish village community. With a picturesque setting, engaging characters, warm-hearted storylines, charm, humour and spirit, it celebrates our modern society with inclusivity and diversity while offering a true reflection of the UK today.
The series centres on a veterinary surgery, a bakers and a bicycle shop as it introduces us to ambitious 10 year old Sally McLaren, mischievous 8 year old Finn McLaren and 11 year old adventurous and creative KoJo Macleod!
Each standalone episode of this new pre-school drama focuses on the lives and comic dilemmas of a diverse, cross-generational village community. The stories reflect the characters’ interconnected lives but also their different nationalities as the friends and neighbours live happily in the beautiful village of Lochside.
Exec: Sara Harkins
BBC Children’s Production, 20 x 15
It’s not junk if someone’s got a use for it! Join Danny Sebastian, Zoe Pocock and their team of Junkyard Helpers at the Junkyard where day-to-day items and old junk are given a fun, practical, new life. Combining traditional crafts from across the UK and creative child-led makes, Junk Rescue makes sustainability fun, showing how the things we throw away can be turned into something useable and encouraging our CBeebies audience to take the lead on what they can make from what they find.
Exec: Julia Bond
Produced by Hello Halo, 30 x 15
Baby Club has been created and devised by Christopher Pilkington and Emma Hyman to help parents engage with and share precious time with their babies and toddlers. It will be produced in conjunction with MediaCItyUK based Independent production company Three Arrows Media, whose most recent series for CBeebies, Treasure Champs, premieres on the channel in January 2018. Three Arrows Media is headed by Jon Hancock and David Hallam.
Exec: Michael Towner
BBC Children’s Production, 20 x 15