Shaun the Sheep, star of Wallace and Gromit's A Close Shave, is to get
his own BBC children's show in a landmark commission from Aardman Animations.
CBBC has commissioned Shaun the Sheep, a 40-part series from Aardman,
the first ever stand-alone animation commission from CBBC.
The series will follow the adventures of Shaun and the rest of his
flock as they join in his latest madcap schemes, from synchronised swimming
in the sheep-dip to disguising themselves in the scarecrow's clothes.
It begins production at the end of this year.
Announcing the commission, CBBC Controller Dorothy Prior said: "As
a big fan of Wallace and Gromit I am delighted to give Shaun his own
series on CBBC.
"He is an adorable character, with a big following, so this is
a great opportunity to introduce him and his new friends to a wide audience
of children and no doubt their parents too."
Prior added: "This is an excellent creative partnership for CBBC
and demonstrates our commitment to the UK animation industry."
Miles Bullough, Aardman's Executive Producer of Shaun the Sheep, said:
"We are delighted to be working so closely with the BBC on Shaun
the Sheep and very happy to have a secured such a strong UK platform
for what we hope will become a significant global property for Aardman's
burgeoning kids' business."
Shaun the Sheep will transmit on CBBC in 2006.
Notes to Editors
Michael Carrington, Head of CBBC Animation & Acquisitions, will manage
this commission for CBBC.
Aardman produces films, television series and commercials for both
the domestic and international market.
Their debut feature film, Chicken Run, has grossed over $220m worldwide
and their series of Wallace and Gromit short films has won many awards,
including two Oscars.
The first Wallace and Gromit feature film is currently in production,
due for release in October 2005.
Shaun the Sheep's biography
Shaun made his TV debut on Christmas Eve 1996 in Nick Park's Academy
Award-winning short film A Close Shave.
Fans of the film will remember him munching his way through the contents
of 62 West Wallaby Street and helping Wallace and Gromit foil a sheep-rustling
But Shaun is not a sheep who follows the rest of the flock, and his
lively personality sets him apart from his fellow herbivores.
Inquisitive, imaginative and mischievous, his independent nature can
lead him into tricky situations - although he usually proves quick-witted
enough to come out on top.
Shaun is still young and quite na´ve and his curiosity and inexperience
can prove a recipe for trouble.
But he brings a crazy, sheep-like logic to the problems he encounters
- sometimes with unintended and hilarious results.
He is good-natured and popular with the rest of the flock. Although
unsure about some of Shaun's madcap ideas, they can be cajoled into
joining in with his latest scheme.