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School bus comedy and Justin Fletcher quiz among new commissions announced by BBC Children’s


A comedy set on a school bus, a music show filmed in Manchester and a spin-off of Justin Fletcher’s Gigglebiz are among the highlights of a new slate of BBC Children’s commissions announced today.

The scripted and unscripted shows were unveiled by Helen Bullough, Head of Children’s In-House Production, based at MediaCityUK.

“The slate of the In-House team has never been stronger and I’m proud to be able to deliver such new and exciting content to our audience,” she said.

Catie’s Amazing Machines – CBeebies

Catie Munnings, a 20-year-old professional rally driver, will introduce the pre-school audience to some of her favourite machines and then “buckles up” to take them all for a test drive. Over 20 x 15 mins episodes, Catie comes face to face with every kind of machine imaginable, from forklifts to lorries, ships to planes and trains to monster trucks. The series has a soundtrack provided by The Darkness. Exec: Annette Williams

School Bus – CBBC

School Bus, by Dominic and John Reynolds, is a brand new comedy that takes place entirely on a school bus. The central character is 12-year-old Noah Beckett and the narrative focuses on the time he spends on the bus with his peers. Exec: Sid Cole

YolanDa’s Band Jam – CBeebies

Multiple Grammy-winning YolanDa Brown hosts a dynamic new 20 x 15 mins music show for the CBeebies audience, filmed at Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester. YolanDa and composer Andrew Kingslow (Rastamouse, Apple Tree House) are joined by a range of special guests including top singer/guitarist Newton Faulkner and hit country duo The Shires. Exec: Vanessa Amberleigh

It’s About Time – CBeebies

Time is a concept that is tricky to explain to a young child. It’s About Time aims, through animated storytelling and live action contributors, to help the CBeebies audience understand the concept of ‘tomorrow’, ‘next week’, ‘yesterday’ etc in language and stories that will make sense to them. A mixture of live-action and animation. The animated characters are based on Jo Jo and Gran Gran created by writer Laura Henry with illustrations by Amy Bradley. Exec: Vanessa Amberleigh

Can You Kick It? – CBBC

Match Of The Day: Can You Kick It? is a new formatted talent search which showcases the fancy footwork of some of the UK’s best young male and female freestyle footballers. Over 10 x 30 episodes, talented 10-14 year old players are pitched against each other in a variety of bespoke, football-skill/technique based challenges; created and developed with insight from top UK experts to test their overall game.

The series is co-hosted by award winning CBBC favourites Sam Nixon and Mark Rhodes, ably assisted by world champion freestyler, John Farnworth, as well as other special expert guests. Exec: Yvonne Jennings

GiggleQuiz – CBeebies

A spin-off from BAFTA-winning series Gigglebiz, GiggleQuiz sees Justin Fletcher adopt the guise of quiz show host as he guides a range of his familiar and well-loved Gigglebiz characters through a series of quiz rounds. Nana Knickerbocker, Arthur Sleep, Dina Lady and a host of others will compete for points. Exec: Vanessa Amberleigh

Molly and Mack – CBeebies

Molly and Mack is a brand new 20 x 15 mins pre-school drama featuring eight-year-old Molly and her 18-year-old brother Mack. During the summer holidays, Molly is being looked after by a reluctant Mack who runs a vintage toy and record stall in the Big Hub, an indoor community market. The series follows Molly’s fun adventures with Mack, her friends and the eccentric but loving group of people who run the various stalls. Shot in Scotland with an entirely Scottish cast. Exec: Sara Harkins

Boggled – CBBC iPlayer, You Tube and CBBC Buzz

Magician Chris Cox presents a brand new digital first title, Boggled, for CBBC iPlayer and digital platforms including YouTube and CBBC Buzz. His tricks involve characters from well-loved CBBC brands such as The Dumping Ground, Jamie Johnson and So Awkward. Exec: Putul Verma

CBeebies Live Performances

Following on from Snow Queen last year, the CBeebies Christmas Show 2018 will be Thumbelina. For CBeebies Proms 2018, Justin Fletcher and his Something Special friends will attend a relaxed performance at the Royal Albert Hall and continuing the successful collaboration with Northern Ballet, CBeebies will present their ‘Puss In Boots’ in 2019. Exec: Vanessa Amberleigh

Returning Series

Alongside the new commissions, a host of series will be back:

  • Series 5 of popular period drama, Hetty Feather (10 x 30), adapted from the book by Dame Jacqueline Wilson.
  • Series 3 of The Worst Witch (13 x 30), a co-production with ZDFE and based on the Jill Murphy books.
  • Spooky anthology series Creeped Out, a co-production with DHX Media and created and written by Bede Blake and Rob Butler, is back for a second series in 2019.
  • School based comedy drama 40CC (series 8) is commissioned for 2019.
  • Hit brand The Dumping Ground will return in 2019 and 2020 (series 7a and 7b) alongside the launch of a spin off series on Instagram this year for older fans.
  • Pre-school series Biggleton will return for series 2 in 2019
  • Also on CBeebies, Gigglebiz returns to our screens for Justin Fletcher fans in 2019 (series 5) and Something Special (series 12) will also film in 2019.
  • Vet Tales is currently filming with series 2 and Swashbuckle returns to CBeebies with series 6 in 2019
  • Popular CBBC brand The Dengineers is currently in production and will return in 2019 as well (series 5).

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