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Wednesday 20 Aug 2014

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CBBC commissions new drama and factual series from the North

Magical sitcom Jinx and new factual format This Kid Could Change The World to hit screens from autumn 2009

Peter Salmon, Director BBC North, speaking with Richard Bacon at the Showcomotion Children's conference, unveiled two new children's programmes for CBBC to be made in Manchester.

The new Manchester produced commissions include a brand new magical sitcom, Jinx, about a modern-day Cinderella and her magic cookbook, based on the Lulu Baker series of books by Fiona Dunbar.

In addition Shine North will produce This Kid Could Change The World, an innovative new factual series.

Two of CBBC's most popular shows – Prank Patrol hosted by Barney Heywood and Beat The Boss with Saira Khan – will also be produced in the city.

Commissioned by CBBC Controller, Anne Gilchrist, the raft of new drama, factual and entertainment series from the regions will help boost the BBC's commitment to out of London Network programme spend by 50% by 2016.

Anne Gilchrist said: "These new commissions underline CBBC's continuing commitment to original British content.

"Both shows have children at their heart and are guaranteed to be hugely entertaining."

The new commissions come hot on the heels of the announcements of Tracy Beaker, written by multi-award winning children's author Jacqueline Wilson and produced by the CBBC drama team in Newcastle, and Ingenious, a one-off drama especially written for CBBC by Jeanette Winterson, produced in Liverpool.

Jinx, is a 13 x 30-minutes magical sitcom produced by Kindle Entertainment (Dustbin Baby, Big & Small, My Spy Family).

Based on the successful Lulu Baker trilogy by Fiona Dunbar, the comedy-drama series charts the adventures of a truly modern-day Cinderella.

Lulu may be your typical teen but she has a very cool secret – she's the proud owner of a magic cookbook. She can bake her own gingerbread boyfriend for the school dance, rustle up an extra-terrestrial to win a class debate on the existence of aliens and give her annoying stepbrother donkey ears by feeding him a magic cookie.

The possibilities are endless and life would be perfect except that the guardian of the book, Cookie, is a mischievous imp and her recipes never quite turn out as Lulu planned. But, with big power comes big responsibility and Lulu always tries really hard to fix the unforeseen side-effects...

Jinx is currently in pre-production and begins shooting this July. The executive producers are Sue Nott, for the BBC, and Melanie Stokes for Kindle.

This Kid Could Change The World is a nine x 30-minutes factual series where children from across the country will have their passionate and innovative world-changing ideas put to the test.

A series of heats will gather the best ideas from across the country and the hopefuls will arrive at the HQ to put their ideas into action. Through a series of set tasks two expert innovators and a mysterious benefactor, The Big Cheese, will determine which ideas have the potential to succeed and which will fail out in the real world.

For the series finale an invited studio audience of kids will get to decide which idea gets set in motion by The Big Cheese.

The series is due to transmit in 2010 and will be executive produced for the BBC by Bridget Banton and by Andrew Nicolson for Shine North.

Back for a fifth series comes Beat The Boss.

Presented by Saira Khan, Beat The Boss sees children pit their wits against top business executives as they compete in tasks to design a new product and concepts which will appeal to the kids' market.

Produced by Moray London and executive produced by Annette Williams, the five x 28-minutes series is made in Manchester.

Prank Patrol is also being commissioned for a third series.

In this hilarious and highly popular series lucky viewers get to create, build and execute a big and elaborate prank on unsuspecting friends. From the customised Prank Van, Barney Harwood and two prank-loving Ninjas help viewers pull off the prank.

The 10 x 28-minutes series will deliver later this year and is being executive produced by Bridget Banton at the BBC. It is being made by Baker Media in Manchester and the executive producer is Peter Baker.

Notes to Editors

CBBC won the Children's Channel of the Year Award at the Children's BAFTAs in November 2008 and was named Children's Channel of the Year at the Broadcast Digital Awards in June 2009.

Figures show that CBBC is one of the most-loved channels for children, and it reaches more six to 12 year olds than any other children's channel in the UK. Almost a third of all six to 12 year olds in digital homes in the UK tune into CBBC on a weekly basis.


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