Cbeebies Announces Two Major New Shows
CBeebies Controller Michael Carrington announces two major new in-house commissions for transmission in 2010: Let’s Celebrate and Same Smile.
Both series focus on live action filming of real children’s lives to celebrate the nation’s culture and diversity as experienced by the under-sixes.
Michael Carrington said: “One of my key aims for CBeebies is to try to ensure that every child watching CBeebies sees their own life reflected on screen.
“Both these series will hold up a mirror and reflect the varied and colourful lives of our young viewers and their families, with an engaging, thought-provoking and celebratory feel to life across the UK and the cultures and faiths that make up 21st century Britain.”
From Chinese New Year to Christmas, Let’s Celebrate (15 x 15-minutes) shows how children experience different religious and cultural festivals around the UK
Let’s Celebrate visits a different UK community each episode to join in the fun and excitement of their celebrations by visiting a family or group of children who are getting ready for a festival – be it dressing up, decorating the house, preparing food or exchanging gifts.
The programmes then showcase a musical or dramatic performance which tells the story behind the festival before returning to the children and their families at a party or event in full celebratory mode.
Well-known presenter and children’s performer Patrick Lynch (Razzle Dazzle) introduces the festivals from his “party house” which literally tingles with excitement – it seems that this house and the street outside can’t wait to celebrate… and each show ends with a call for young viewers at home to join the celebrations as a street party explodes into life.
Other festivals featured in the series include Vaisakhi, Eid-ul-Fitr, Holi, Wesak, Purim, Diwali, Easter, St Patrick’s Day, St David’s Day, St George’s Day, St Andrew’s Day and Norouz.
Let’s Celebrate is produced by Jon Hancock with executive producer Alison Stewart. It is specially created for four to six year olds.
Michael Carrington said: “Festivals are colourful, musical, exciting. They are often the high point of the year for the community which is celebrating, and children of all ages are carried along by this excitement.
“But behind the festivities, the fireworks and the feasting are stories and customs which underpin the whole event. Let’s Celebrate does just that – engaging and encouraging our young viewers to celebrate along with their peers.”
Same Smile (13 x 15-minutes) blends live action and animation as presenter Nisha Anil cycles across the UK with her group of three cuddly pandas visiting children to discover that they are just like them but different.
A collaboration involving teams from Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and London, the series is being created for two to four year olds offering a window on the world of young children and celebrating the diversity of their lives.
In each episode, Nisha and her trio of bears will visit a nursery or group of children and then delve into the Same Smile box to discover the theme for the day – be it a favourite place, favourite food, the garden or family.
Whilst Nisha stays with the group to play games or creative activities, two of the cuddly pandas go home with two children to explore their own versions of the day’s theme.
Michael added: “Same Smile is really owned by the children who take part in the series, they’re absolutely at its heart. Each episode, children take the pandas home and introduce them to their worlds and their imaginations.
“So each film is a unique look at a child’s life and their world, showing us that we are all the same, but different.”
Same Smile will be directed by Rachel Bazeley with Sara Harkins as executive producer. It is a BBC Scotland production for CBeebies.
Both series will broadcast on CBeebies in 2010.