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Wednesday 29 Oct 2014

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Get the giggles with Justin on CBeebies

Justin Fletcher

Filming is underway for Justin Fletcher's new CBeebies show, Gigglebiz, a brand new sketch show in which Justin sets out to get the nation's under-sixes giggling their socks off with his collection of madcap comedy characters.

Gigglebiz will be CBeebies' first live action sketch show and the series is due on screen in the summer.

Meanwhile, shooting is taking place both on location and in studio at Elstree.

Known to his millions of fans as Mr Tumble and the presenter of CBeebies' Something Special, Justin has devised almost 20 new characters for Gigglebiz.

The series of 25 episodes is a rambunctious collection of short, simple, funny sketches packed with lively, hilarious and eccentric individuals including:

  • King Flannel – a decrepit old rogue with a penchant for trying to outwit his butler or generally misbehaving without being caught.
  • The Berito Brothers – a slightly faded troupe of past-their-best acrobats. Two of them have still got what it takes but the third – Justin, obviously – most definitely hasn't!
  • Gail Force – a glamorous weather reporter with an uncanny knack of forecasting weather conditions which happen only to her ... and not always in the most obvious ways!
  • The Lost Pirate – an out-of-time pirate on the constant lookout for treasure with the aid of his map (complete with "x marks the spot" instructions). He travels around in a little kayak for paddling across water – whether that's the water feature at the local park or the fountains in a shopping mall.
  • Nana Knickerbocker – Nana lives her entire life as though she's in a panto. She invokes all the catchphrases and traditions of a panto, but mainly in completely inappropriate places – like the supermarket. Or shoe shopping! She's even given to throwing random bags of sweets at total strangers.

Justin Fletcher said: "With 20 characters in all, let's be honest, this is just a big excuse for me to dress up in funny costumes every day and be silly. It's such brilliant fun to do.

"We gave some characters a test run in the summer with a pilot show and feedback was really strong, so I'm so excited to be back and making a full series! You could say, I'm in the truly biz of making them giggle!"

Perfect for four to six year olds, the series is being produced by Michael Towner.

With almost 250 sketches to write, Michael has commissioned writers from BBC Entertainment's Comedy School to work alongside CBeebies' more traditional writing squad and, of course, Justin himself.

Michael Carrington, Controller of CBeebies, commissioned the series.

He said: "I thought it was time for a proper comedy sketch show for children and Justin is the perfect man for it. He's got such a gift for comedy, writing, slapstick and inventing silly characters.

"Meanwhile, we've pulled together some of the nation's best comedy writing talent to create the series. We're taking our comedy very seriously!

"Combining their ideas with Justin's unique performance gifts, I'm sure Gigglebiz will have our young viewers giggling and guffawing away on the sofa."

The Executive Producer is Alison Stewart.

Notes to Editors

CBeebies remains the most watched and loved channel for the under sixes. With almost half of the target audience tuning in each week (parents and carers with children aged 0-3 and 4-6 year olds in digital homes) it reaches well over double (almost three times) the audience of its pre-school competitors.

The CBeebies website regularly reaches almost a million weekly users and reached more than one million unique users in the UK during the first week of February 2009, a record for the site.


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