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Wednesday 29 Oct 2014

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Tracy Beaker returns as CBBC commissions more drama from the North East, plus a Newsround special on living in foster care

Tracy Beaker Returns

Award-winning CBBC today announced its continued investment into home-grown British drama as it commissions a second series of its hit series Tracy Beaker Returns for 2011.

Actress Dani Harmer (Tracy Beaker) is also joining forces with CBBC's Newsround team for the latest of the news programme's award-winning "Special" series. The Real Tracy Beaker follows Dani across the country as she finds out what life is like in a real foster home.

The commissions were announced at the Royal Television Society North East Awards, at The Sage Centre in Gateshead on Saturday 27 February, by Joe Godwin, Director of BBC Children's, who confirmed that the BBC would make a second series of Tracy Beaker Returns in Newcastle.

The move helps cement the BBC's commitment to boosting out of London Network programme spend to 50% by 2016.

Damian Kavanagh, Controller, CBBC, who commissioned both programmes says: "Tracy Beaker is one of our most popular programmes on CBBC and has already received 2.5 million requests to download on BBC iPlayer.

"I'm genuinely thrilled that she'll be back again in 2011 sharing more of the funny, and often poignant, stories of the children in the care home.

"We have also commissioned a Newsround special about children living in foster care, continuing our commitment to producing factual programmes about children and for children. The combination of Dani's streetwise personality and Newsround's renowned journalism will make for a film that will be powerful and thought-provoking, but also entertaining.

"I'm delighted that we'll be back in Newcastle filming the drama. The experience of filming in the North East was very positive with an excellent location base to work from and I am sure everyone involved is looking forward to returning this summer."

Tracy Beaker Returns

Devised by multi-award-winning children's author Dame Jacqueline Wilson, and the drama team at CBBC, the first series, shown in January 2010, stormed to success on CBBC.

The first episode was the highest-ever average audience for a programme on the CBBC channel, reaching 379,000 six- to 12-year-olds and 828,000 individuals.

To date, Tracy Beaker Returns has achieved 2.5 million requests on BBC iPlayer since launch.

The 13-part drama continues with Tracy back in the Dumping Ground care home, but this time as a teenage carer.

Tracy Beaker Returns has been commissioned by Damian Kavanagh, Controller CBBC, for early 2011. Tracy Beaker Returns is a CBBC Production, executive produced by Jo Ward.

Newsround Special – The Real Tracy Beaker

After years of getting into scrapes, Tracy Beaker, the nation's most famous foster-kid, is getting serious – for one show only. Actress Dani Harmer is joining forces with CBBC's Newsround team for the latest of the news programme's award-winning "Special" series.

Bringing her own unique perspective to the programme, she will meet the children growing up in their own, true-life versions of The Dumping Ground, and explore the many emotions contained within their stories.

Previous Newsround specials have covered difficult subjects in a sensitive and accessible way – including knife crime, divorce and online grooming. And the multi-award-winning special Gone tackled bereavement.

Newsround Special – The Real Tracy Beaker has been commissioned by Damian Kavanagh, Controller CBBC, for early 2011. The editor of Newsround is Owenna Griffiths.

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, reaching more six- to 12-year-olds than any other children's channel (in digital homes).

BBC Children's

BBC Children's is one of the departments moving from London to the North of England in 2011, when it will begin operating from its new home at MediaCity in Salford Quays. The BBC is already engaging in new ways with production companies in the North of England and has just announced the companies who have been selected to take part in @North, a new £500,000 commissioning initiative for interactive content for CBeebies and CBBC. Seven companies from the North East are now taking part in creative workshops with BBC Children's and technology specialists to develop their ideas further.


Newsround has been dedicated to bringing children the news for more than 36 years, making the important issues of the day relevant and easily understandable for kids.

Television's only daily current affairs programme specifically made for young people has recently been given a re-launch with a brand new look and two new presenters for a new generation of children.

Newsround continues to make one-off specials, which cover difficult subjects, such as recent reports on knife crime and divorce, in a sensitive and accessible way. This year its Newsround Special, Gone, which tackled real-life stories of four children who have lost family and how they're learning to cope with their loss, was named best special at the KidScreen Awards, as well as taking the best writing prize.

Presented by Ore Oduba and Sonali Shah live from BBC Television Centre in London, Newsround now has its very own news bureau in Manchester, bringing all the latest news from the nations and regions to uniquely deliver world-class journalism exclusively for children and young people across the UK.

As well as delivering up-to-the-minute news, Newsround's website also encourages children to share their own views and engage in debates by joining chats on the message boards, voting on the issues that matter to them, pitting their wits in a choice of quizzes, and watching the amazing press pack reports made by other Newsround viewers.

Jacqueline Wilson

Jacqueline Wilson is one of this country's most prolific and respected children's authors. She has sold millions of books, her total stands at over 20 million in the UK alone. In June 2002 Jacqueline was given an OBE for services to literacy in schools and she was made a Dame in the New Year's Honours List for 2008.

BARB 2010 Figures

The new BARB 2010 TV audience measurement panel of 5,100 homes commenced reporting on 1 January 2010. There is no change to how audiences are measured, but it is a completely new set of households which may result in some differences at an individual channel and programme level. As such, please be cautious when comparing current audience figures to those pre-2010.


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