Sunday, 12 February 2012

BBC Press Release - Happy Birthday Children's BBC

Happy birthday CBBC and CBeebies – not only celebrating their 10th birthday today (11th February), but also an Aquarian just like myself! 

We are apparently the creatives of zodiac. How very true. All of us, as mad as a bag of frogs!

Actually, that’s quite a good name for a new programme – “Are you mad as a bag of frogs, Florence aged 6 from Flixton?”

It could be perceived as racist, but then they allow Rastamouse on TV, so maybe it’ll be OK. Perhaps I’ll give it a punt!

CBBC and CBeebies are “The most popular channels in the UK for the under 12’s”. Does that mean that in two years time they will be too old to make programmes for themselves – discuss ......

We’re very lucky up here in MancLand for we have ‘the magic’ right on our doorstep. Yes, MediaCityUK in Salford Quays where Children’s BBC now hangs out, is a mere tram ride away.

And I am especially lucky, because I know people on the inside! I’ve been twice to the BBC canteen – with a visitors badge and everything. I’ve even met Mr Tumble, though obviously I didn’t have a Scooby Doo who he was at the time, because I’m not three.

With my fast track to the famous firmly in place – I’ve got myself onto the CBBC press release mailing list. Stick with me people with small children, for I am in the know!

Firstly, there is a special Big Birthday Bash on the Quays a week today (18th Feb), which is lovely because it’s the day after my birthday. I’m planning on still being drunk so Mr Tumble had better watch out – I know who you are now.

Like many of my MancLand Mummy friends I tried to get tickets for some of the special events, but it turned out to be more competitive than Olympic tickets. Who would have thought Mr Bloom was so popular. However, I am reliably informed that there will still be lots of terribly exciting other stuff for us ‘unsuccessful applicants’ to enjoy – in the cold – and the rain. How could you do that to us BBC ....... you know what the weather’s like in Salford in February! Will there be cake?

Anyway – if that wasn’t enough, there is also going to be a “slate of new programmes to entertain and inspire their audiences in the coming year.” Shouldn’t that be an ipad of new programmes?  Raise the licence fee immediately!

Joe Godwin, Director, BBC Children’s, said: “I believe what makes BBC Children’s so special is that we produce original British programming to help children make sense of the world around them. And we take children to places they wouldn’t otherwise be able to experience.”

Like Salford Quays!

Baroness Floella Benjamin, OBE (wow she’s come a long way since the days of hair beads and dungarees), said: “I believe passionately in the power of high quality British-made children’s television to change children’s lives and inspire them to think differently about the world in which they live.”
Which is basically saying the same thing – but slightly differently. Well done Floella!

So what’s new Auntie Beeb? Bringing back Bagpuss? Or are you ignoring Ivor (The Engine)?

You need to know this if you’ve got small children, because you are going to be watching these new programmes – a lot!

Well, there will be lots of programmes to introduce the littlies to basic literacy and numeracy. There’ll be ‘NUMTUMS’ and ‘THE LINGO SHOW’ alongside new episodes of ‘ALPHABLOCKS’ and ‘ABABAS’. So it’ll be fun to learn with letters and getting to know your numbers.

I can hear David Cameron cheering from here. “Hurrah – there will be no need to send them to school. Give all deprived families a free TV licence and sack the teachers.”

There’s more – ‘TREE FU TOM’ (don’t know what this is yet. Learning how to navigate your way around a Chinese takeaway menu? Clearly a vital life skill) and ‘ANDY’S WILD ADVENTURES’ filmed in Magaluf (I made that last bit up). Whatever they are, they will “encourage and entertain little learners around the country”.

And it doesn’t stop there – there is going to be ‘THE RHYME ROCKET’ which relies on rhymes to fuel its engines. It’s a great concept, but I don’t think it’s the answer to the fuel crisis and global warming. Still I’m sure Richard Branson could make it work. 

“The Rhyme Rocket will blast off on a journey to collect a poem from children on Earth. As it encounters different planets full of rhymes, the rocket beams aboard poets and performers to introduce new works specially commissioned by the BBC.”

So we can look forward to a generation of children who converse through the medium of sonnets and cheeky limericks.

There was a young lad called Sam Sprockett
Who got smuggled away on Rhyme Rocket
He squealed “Holy feck
This is just like Star Trek
And much better than Grandpa in my pocket”

CBBC will also be getting in on the action with lots of new stuff too. It’s all very dramatic – literally. Four major new drama series have been commissioned along with some new episodes of old favourites.

Brand new CBBC dramas Wolfblood, The Knot, Stepping Up and Russell T Davies’ (that’s the man who writes Dr Who) Aliens Vs Wizards are all in production, with Young Dracula, The Sparticles Mystery, M.I. High and Leonardo all returning to CBBC in 2012/2013.

With TV like that in the pipeline there’s lots to look forward to, as CBBC and CBeebies race towards puberty!

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