Mystery Soup wins BBC’s animation pilot scheme

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by Stephen Chapman

A surreal comedy created by County Durham writer, Victoria Manifold and director, Hannah Jacobs, is to be made into pilot for the BBC.

Mystery Soup has been announced as the winner of Anim8, CBBC and BBC Worldwide’s first animation pilot scheme.

It will now be developed alongside a BBC team, headed up by Sarah Muller, CBBC’s creative director of scripted, animation and co-productions, and Nathan Waddington, head of children’s scripted at BBC Worldwide.

There were more than 300 submissions to the competition, which was launched in November last year. It was open to pitches from individuals, studios and companies from across the country.

“The ANIM8 process was a brilliant way of meeting writers and creators from very diverse backgrounds and we've loved every minute. Along with our colleagues in Worldwide we're now impatient to develop the winning project, Mystery Soup and help it reach its obvious potential,” said Cheryl Taylor, Controller, CBBC.

The show follows 3, 13-year-old girls who investigate the bizarre goings-on at a “weird new boarding school.”

“It was really important to both of us to create an animated series for kids that had strong, funny female protagonists but wasn't dubbed 'girly'. Our characters are adventurous and fearless but just so happen to be girls too. This was at the forefront of our idea for Mystery Soup. A boarding school seemed like the perfect setting for our ideas: the opportunity for kids to be unsupervised lends itself to all sorts of mischief and adventures. We were lucky in that the BBC very much supported this idea and backed us all the way. It was great to be given the time and money to develop an idea we felt so passionate about,” explained Manifold.

“We're so excited to embark on the next part of the process and see our ideas come to life in the pilot. Working on an animation has been something we've both dreamed of since childhood and we're still in shock that we get to make our dreams come true”.

The pair drew inspiration from The Simpons, Bob’s Burgers and The Regular Show.

The pilot will be delivered in September.