CBeebies announces new shows Swashbuckle and Time For School alongside returning favourites

I’m very proud to be bringing Swashbuckle to the channel which is packed with fun, energy and laughs and I’m sure will be an instant hit with our older audience. The younger members of our audience will love Time for School, which will build their confidence and prepare them as they take their first steps on their school journey."Kay Benbow, Controller, CBeebies
Date: 21.03.2013     Last updated: 18.03.2014 at 18.13
Category: CBeebies
Kay Benbow, Controller of CBeebies, announced today that she has commissioned her first physical game show for the channel alongside a ground-breaking new series about starting school.

Swashbuckle is a new pirate adventure game show while Time For School is all about preparing the young CBeebies audience as they get ready to start school for the first time. Also returning to the channel are Gigglebiz with a third series starring Justin Fletcher and Nina And The Neurons with an eighth series, called Earth Explorers, which gives a fascinating look at Earth science.

Swashbuckle (25 x 19 minutes) will be presented by former CBBC presenter Gemma Hunt, who will endeavour to keep the naughty pirates Cook, Line and Captain Sinker in order. Playing the roles of the pirates will be Ella Kenion (The Catherine Tate Show, The Green Green Grass) playing Captain Sinker, and newcomers Joseph Elliott and Richard David-Caine playing Cook and Line. The trio of mischievous and playful pirates have taken precious jewels and in each episode it’s the job of four budding young Swashbucklers to work as a team and win back the treasure by playing physical games. Set on a purpose-built, soft-play pirate shipwreck, the team will collect jewels and fill their treasure chest. If they manage to collect all the jewels then one of the pirates have to walk the plank into the Ship's Mess!

All of the games are designed to incorporate the physical development goals that children would experience in KS1 activities at school including co-ordination, speed, balance and aim.

Swashbuckle will be recorded in the MediaCityUK studios in Salford. The Series Producer is Jon Hancock and the Executive Producer is Tony Reed. The series will be recording in April for transmission in Summer 2013 on CBeebies.

Time for School (40 x 11 minutes) is an exciting fly-on-the-wall pre-school series following the ups and downs of real reception children as they start school. The series will capture every aspect of this unfamiliar but fun journey, in an entertaining and heart-warming observational documentary style.

The cameras will follow the children on their first day and throughout that first term, capturing everything from first day nerves as they meet their teacher and classmates, to finding out where to hang their coat, to deciding what to have for their first school dinner. The young pupils will share their experiences of lessons, play-time fun, friendships and much more as they embark upon their first term’s journey of discovery.

Time for School will begin filming in the Autumn at two schools, one in the Midlands and one in the North East, and will be shown on CBeebies in winter 2014. The series is a Sixth Sense Media Limited Production for CBeebies. Executive Producers are Michael Towner for CBeebies and Nick Wilson and Sallyann Keizer for Sixth Sense.

Justin Fletcher will return in a third series of the comedy sketch show Gigglebiz (25 x 15 minutes). The new series will be jam-packed full of giggles, with many of the hilarious and eccentric regulars from the previous series returning alongside a number of brand new, quirky characters, all played by Justin Fletcher.

Gigglebiz is produced by Domininc Macdonald and the Executive Producer is Vanessa Amberleigh. The new series starts filming in May 2013 for transmission on CBeebies in the autumn.

Nina And The Neurons: Earth Explorers (25 x 15 minutes) sees Nina (Katrina Bryan) discover more about planet Earth and the spectacular solar system. Assisted by her five animated neurons and her team of child explorers, Nina will travel the UK in search of scientific wonders, discovering more about the world around us.

The series will visit extraordinary places and conduct exciting experiments, all in the name of science, looking at how mountains are formed, why astronauts float in space and why we have night and day.

Nina And The Neurons: Earth Explorers is a CBeebies Scotland production. It is produced by Jennifer Morrison and the Executive Producer is Sara Harkins. The series will be filmed over the summer for transmission on CBeebies in Autumn 2013.

Kay Benbow, Controller of CBeebies says: “This raft of new commissions for CBeebies shows the diversity of programming on the channel, all of which is designed to entertain and educate our viewers. I’m very proud to be bringing Swashbuckle to the channel which is packed with fun, energy and laughs and I’m sure will be an instant hit with our older audience. The younger members of our audience will love Time For School, which will build their confidence and prepare them as they take their first steps on their school journey. And I’m sure returning favourites Gigglebiz and Nina and the Neurons will continue to delight and entertain our viewers.”

KW/JC4

Note to editors

CBeebies is dedicated to delighting and surprising its young audience and it remains the UK's most watched and most loved channel for the under-sixes. Just under half of the target audience tune in every week (parents and carers with children aged 0-3 and four- to six-year-olds in digital homes). Our reach is over double that of our nearest competitor. Our most popular shows include In The Night Garden, Something Special, Octonauts, Justin’s House, Tree Fu Tom and Waybuloo. New shows in 2012/2013 include Get Well Soon and Old Jack’s Boat, together with new episodes of the popular series Mr Bloom’s Nursery and Rastamouse. The CBeebies website is also hugely popular with our young audience and their parents and helps extend the ‘learning through play’ philosophy. Last year it averaged over 824k unique users per week. CBeebies was Freesat’s Channel of the Year 2012 and was previously crowned BAFTA’s Children’s Channel of the Year in 2010 and 2011.