Press Office

Wednesday 24 Sep 2014

Press Release

CBeebies announce two major new in-house commissions

CBeebies controller Kay Benbow today announced two major new in-house commissions, Justin's House and Numbats, along with the return of Mr Bloom's Nursery and Zak, Tang, Panzee and Drum in global music show Zingzillas.

Justin's House (22 x 25 mins) features Bafta-award winning CBeebies presenter Justin Fletcher (Something Special, Gigglebiz) as he moves into a brand new madcap house.

The first CBeebies show to be recorded in the BBC's new home at MediaCity, Justin will entertain a live theatre audience of 3-6-year-olds with a mix of singing, dancing and comedy chaos in panto-party style. He's helped by Robert, his Robot Butler; Little Monster, a lightening fast trickster and Dee Livery, the Unicycling Delivery Lady.

With special guests dropping by, catchphrases galore, inclusive games and lots of slapstick, there are plenty of opportunities for the children to get involved. The theatre and TV audiences are invited to interact, play and sing along with all the activities that Justin undertakes.

Numbats (25 x 5 mins) is a mix of live action and computer-generated animation. It features 10 furry animated critters whose mission is to teach pre-schoolers about the numbers 1 to 10.

Each energetic Numbat has its own number, from 1 up to 10, stamped onto its brightly coloured belly. At the beginning of each episode a Numbat is picked as the one that will be featured – along with its corresponding number – during that show.

Aimed at 2-4-year-olds, the series is designed to help younger children with early numeracy skills. There's lots of repetition of the featured number along with counting up to 10.

Each episode also features a 'masked' Numbat who sneaks out into the real world looking for numbers in every day settings, such as a door or telephone, so that children can learn to identify numbers in their own surroundings.

With the use of green-screen technology, the Numbats are able to interact with real children as they find fun ways of teaching them the featured number, either through music or counting familiar everyday objects that children will instantly recognise.

Zingzillas (52 x 11 mins) returns with a second series in a new, shorter format. Zak, Tang, Panzee and Drum are all back getting the CBeebies' audience across the nation grooving on down to the ZingZilla's sound. At home on their tropical island paradise, this band of loveable primate friends love to play fantastic music, inspiring young musical minds everywhere. Gorilla and lead singer, Zak, provide vocals while musical genius and lead guitarist, Tang the orang-utan, creates the toe-tapping, finger-clicking compositions.

Under the guidance of their mentor, music guru DJ Loose, they create their unique ZingZilla sound in time for their daily performance, The Big Zing.

Mr Bloom's Nursery (26 x 20 mins, including a special episode) returns for a second series as Mr Bloom (Ben Faulks) and the loveable Veggies reunite to show how young children can learn from the experience of nurturing plants and vegetables.

Mr Bloom will be joined in this series by two new Veggies, potatoes Tom and Barbara, a bickering couple who will sit high up on a shelf in the Nursery. They will have the best vantage point from which to make jokes and comment on the action taking place and observe the antics of the other Veggies – Colin the Runner Bean, shy Margaret the Cabbage, bossy Joan the Fennel, singing Aubergine Sebastian, the mischievous Wee MacGregor radishes and Raymond the Butternut Squash who adores cuddles.

The new series will also feature a special episode in which Mr Bloom will take his Veggies to Burnley where they will work with a group of children to create a community garden.

Controller Kay Benbow says: "Justin is hugely popular with our audiences and Justin's House taps into their sense of fun with its slapstick humour. Numbats is a simple, clear format designed to teach basic number skills to younger children using repetition and familiar objects and surroundings. It's not just about learning to count up to 10 but about being able to apply the value of a number in everyday scenarios. I am also delighted to welcome back Zingzillas and Mr Bloom."

Alison Stewart, Head of CBeebies Production, Animation and Acquisitions, says: "The two new commissions, together with two returning favourites, highlights the diverse range of content created by the talented in-house production team. Zingzillas and Mr Bloom's Nursery have both been firm favourites with our audience and I'm sure that children everywhere will be laughing out loud at Justin's House and counting along with the Numbats."

JC4

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