Main content

Introducing the BBC’s first voice experiences for children

James Purnell

Director, Radio & Education

Earlier this year, I wrote about how we’ve been exploring new areas for interactive voice content, involving some of our most familiar brands and characters for children. It’s part of our plans to invest in content that informs, educates and entertains children in response to the changing ways they consume media. A recent YouGov report confirmed that Smart speakers are fast-becoming part of this mix, with 11% of UK households owning at least one device and almost a third of those owning at least two devices.

Today we’re launching the new BBC Kids Skill for Alexa devices, which features our first set of children’s experiences for smart speakers. The Skill gives our youngest audiences new and exciting ways of interacting with some of our best-loved characters like Justin Fletcher, Andy and the Go Jetters.

The challenge has been to re-imagine these very visual properties for Voice but equally, because they have been so well conceived and the audio world of these properties is instantly recognisable, they lend themselves well to the medium and we’re really pleased with the results.

The three games all offer a range of ways to play along that are unique to voice platforms. They involve elements of play that we know children love, like dancing, music and quizzes, but also help children to listen and identify sounds, to pay close attention, learn facts… and of course, have some fun.

For example,the Go Jetters game lets children train at the Go Jet Academy by taking Ubercorn’s Funky Facts Quiz. This teaches children something new, helps them focus and gives them a chance to play for the ultimate prize – the chance to become an honourary Go Jetter.We’re massive Go Jetters fans in my household so the challenge is going to be making sure the adults let the children have a go…

The BBC Kids Skill for Alexa devices is the latest in our experiments with Voice formats, led by Executive Editor Mukul Devichand and Head of Products Andrew Webb. The team they’re assembling works across disciplines, bringing producers, designers and software together.

If you’re interested in other examples of our work you can read my earlier post about the approach we’re taking and the areas we’re exploring, and the launch of our first BBC voice service here.

More Posts


Taking to the skies - in VR


An AI experiment at an AI conference