Poetry series with deaf presenters comes to CBeebies

Magic Hands presenter All of the presenters are new to television and profoundly deaf

The BBC is going to broadcast a show featuring children's poetry translated into British Sign Language by four deaf presenters.

Magic Hands will mix sign language, spoken word, music and vibrant animation into five-minute packages.

Series producer Judith Bunting said: 'Translating modern and traditional poems for children into BSL on such a scale is a first. There are deaf poets and deaf theatre companies but no national television company has ever tried translating children's poetry into BSL.'

The producer added that it has been a 'mammoth task' to take verse and turn it into a series of performances.

Each episode of Magic Hands is based around a single verse, interpreted for children.

It will feature poetry from the likes of Robert Louis Stephenson, Maya Angelou, Christina Rossetti and Shakespeare.

Controller of CBeebies Kay Benbow said: 'The mix of sign language, music and lively animation creates spellbinding poetry that we are sure all our young viewers will enjoy."

The Magic Hands presenters - Ashley, Donna, Aimee and Simon - are all new to television and have been profoundly deaf since birth.

The 30-part series made for CBeebies by Remark Ltd, a company that is owned, staffed and run by people who are deaf. It will air in the spring.


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