CBeebies is the brand used by the BBC for programming aimed at children 6 years and under. It is used as a themed strand in the UK on terrestrial television, as a separate free-to-air domestic British channel and used for international variants supported by advertising, subscription or both. The brand was first launched on 11 February 2002.
The channel has been nominated for, and won, many awards. At the BAFTA Children's Awards, it has won awards in every year from 2002 to 2009 (apart from 2003), including Best Pre-school Live Action Series awards in 2002, 2004, 2005 and 2008. It has also won Best Schools Programme 0 5 years awards (or equivalent) from the Royal Television Society from 2004 to 2007. It was also included in the United States on Dish Network to the present, but in a Mexican Spanish version, it is CBeebies en espa ol.
The CBeebies brand was launched on 11 February 2002, when the domestic CBeebies Channel was launched and the strand began to appear on the BBC's terrestrial channels BBC One and BBC Two, alongside its sister service CBBC. The domestic CBeebies channel broadcasts from 06:00 to 19:00 each day - a result of the channel sharing bandwidth with the channel BBC Four on the Freeview platform. The station was joined later on by an audio counterpart, CBeebies Radio, which broadcast for three hours each day on the radio station BBC Radio 7, however since the station was rebranded as BBC Radio 4 Extra this obligation has ceased.
The international CBeebies channel is advert-free and wholly owned by BBC Worldwide. The first international launch for the CBeebies channel was in India in May 2007. The channel is available in the Republic of Ireland, Singapore, Hong Kong, Poland, Indonesia, Mexico, Africa, Australia and the United States.
In March 2011, the on demand version of the network was launched in the US and is available on Xfinity.
In the UK, CBeebies is operated by the BBC Children's division and part of BBC North. The division is also responsible for CBBC and overall strategic responsibility for all of the BBC's domestic services for children rests with the Director of Children's, Joe Godwin (since late 2009). The direction of the domestic CBeebies channel itself rests with Kay Benbow, the current Controller of the channel and responsible for commissioning all CBeebies content across BBC television, online, interactive TV, and radio. She took over from the previous controller Michael Carrington in 2010.
Internationally, CBeebies is owned by BBC Worldwide, who exploit and operate the brand.
CBeebies offers a mix of entertainment and educational programming. The channel's schedule is deliberately the same every weekday, with a different schedule at weekends, so that children can know what is on instinctively. The schedule also includes signed programmes, shown in the UK between 14:00 and 17:00 on weekends. The international channels also show many programmes broadcast on the UK channel, however some include programmes unique to that service.
The links between programmes on CBeebies are primarily achieved through the use of in-vision continuity, using presenters to interact with the children. In the UK, links are pre-recorded rather than broadcast live, as is the case on sister channel CBBC. They were originally pre recorded from studio TC0 at BBC Television Centre in London, however moved out in 2008 to Teddington Studios, and returned briefly in 2010. From September 2011, the links have been based at the BBC's Northern base at MediaCityUK in Salford, Manchester, following the move of the BBC Children's department there. International variants feature broadcast links produced either in the corresponding country, or from a central base.
Logos and idents
Many of the presenters used have histories as characters on other services or on children's programmes.
In the UK, presenters seen on the channel and the stranded service include Sidney Sloane, in place since 2002, Cerrie Burnell and Alex Winters, since 2009, and Katy Ashworth, since 2011.
The international variants feature different personalities per broadcast region. In Australia, Tara Colegrave is the main presenter since 2008, while in Hong Kong and Singapore Pui Fan Lee is the main presenter having transferred there from the UK channel in 2008. The Latin American variant uses Roser Caba as, present on-screen since 2009, with the Polish channel showcasing Aneta Bo ena Piotrowska as main presenter since 2008. The South African channel utilises Sidney Sloane, who has presented for the channel alongside the UK version since 2009.
- Sue Monroe (2002 2006)
- Nicole Davis (2003 2006)
- Justin Fletcher (2006 2007)
- Sarah Jane Honeywell (2006 2007)
- Eva Alexander (2006)
- Chris Jarvis (2002 2009) He now broadcasts on Show Me Show Me.
- Pui Fan Lee (2002 2009) She now also broadcasts on Show Me Show Me.
- Andy Day (2007 2012) He now broadcasts on Andy's Wild Adventures.
In the UK, the CBeebies channel and terrestrial service use stranded segments throughout the day.
Originally each weekday was divided into five segments, each presented by one of the original five "core presenters" namely Chris, Nicole, Pui, Sid and Sue, with each given a core theme (for instance Sid's segment included "building and making" programmes such as Bob the Builder, Nicole's included animal programmes and so on). This segmentation was later dispensed with: only the Bedtime Hour segment was retained.
In recent years the segments were reintroduced to denote the time of day and the levels of activity. These segments are:
Get, Set, Go! - Early Morning schedule between 06.00 and 09.00. Includes programmes such as Tikkabilla, Pingu, Postman Pat, Tweenies, Everything's Rosie, Chuggington & Tommy Zoom.
Discover and Do - Late Morning and Early Afternoon weekdays between 09.00 and 12.00 and between 13.00 and 15.30. The strand is aimed at young children who would not be attending school or pre-school.
Lunch Time - Broadcast between 12.00 and 13.00.
Big Fun Time - Late afternoon weekdays between 15.30 and 18.00. This strand aims at the higher end of its remit, airing programming for the children who have recently returned from school.
Bedtime Hour - The final hour of CBeebies broadcasting between 18.00 and 19.00. The original stranded section of the channel, Bedtime Hour features calm-natured programmes, such as In The Night Garden, 3rd & Bird, 64 Zoo Lane, Waybuloo & Charlie & Lola, with story telling both within and out of the programmes and closes with a final song, "The Time Has Come to Say Goodnight", as transmission closes.
When these segments were initially introduced, each segment featured its own presenting team and set, with Cerrie Burnell and Alex Winters presenting Discover and Do in the CBeebies "living room", Lunch Time in the "kitchen" and Bedtime Hour in the "bedroom", and Andy Day and Sidney Sloane presenting Get, Set, Go! in the "living room" and Big Fun Time in the "garage". However, since moving production to Manchester, this is no longer the case, with the exception of Bedtime Hour which is presented by Burnell alone.
The UK channel utilises song and music as a presentational device, often using them to teach basic knowledge or to herald the start of a stranded segment. Regular songs currently or previously broadcast are included below:
- What's the Day?' - The start of each of the original five segments was accompanied by this song. This song is no longer broadcast on CBeebies.
It's the Weekend: A song / rap sung at various times during the weekend.
It's time for Lunch - Broadcast at noon, it includes different CBeebies personalities and children eating their lunch.
The Time Has Come to Say Goodnight - Lullaby broadcast just before 19:00 to mark the close of transmission from CBeebies.
Get Set Go
- Discover & Do
Big Fun Time
Goodbye Sun, Hello Moon - Broadcast at 18:00 to mark the beginning of the Bedtime Hour.
Sid Says: A rap-style presentation by Sid, who tells the audience to perform simple actions (such as "Sid says, Sid says, Sid says, Sid says, Sid says 'wave your hands'").
Number Debut: This song was only ever sung 4 times in history by Sid & Sarah-Jane. It was a rap sung before showings of Numberjacks about Sid getting his numbers in the wrong order.
Number Raps: Sung by Sid and Andy a rap for each of the numbers 1 to 5
The Birthday Song: Sung before presenters show cards sent in on behalf of their young viewers who are celebrating a birthday that day. CBeebies does not use Happy Birthday to You which despite wide public performance is purportedly a copyrighted work.
In addition to these regular songs, other special songs were used to denote seasons and seasonal activities:
Autumn Song (2009 version) - A song featuring Alex, Sid, Cerrie, Andy showing them (with children) picking apples.
You Know It's Autumn
Colours of Autumn - Featuring Chris and Pui
Summer Song (2009 version)
Winter Song (2009 version)
Christmas Rap - Sung by Andy and Sid
Happy Christmas - During the Christmas 2006 season, a segment was recorded featuring Chris, Sid, Pui, Justin and Sarah-Jane singing the 'Happy Christmas from CBeebies to you' song.
Stars in Presenter Songs
The following songs have the following olden characters from 2006 to 2011.
Muck with mud on his face (Bob the Builder), Todd's Dog jumping in the mud (Toddworld), Po (Teletubbies), Muck and Spud playing with mud (Bob the Builder), Roly Mo Sinking in the bath (The Roly Mo Show), Boo in the bath (Boo!) Pingu jumping in the bath (Pingu), Bob wanting someone to have a wash (Bob the Builder), Lola in a yellowcoat (Charlie and Lola), Florrie washing (Fimbles), Teletubbies washing the Noo-Noo (Teletubbies), Jake washing (Tweenies), squirting water at Bob (Bob the Builder), Lola tickling her toes with the sponge (Charlie and Lola) Bob washing Scoop (Bob the Builder), Pinga laughing in the bath (Pingu), a whale spinning very fast (Rubberdubbers), Fimbo thinking baths are fun (Fimbles) and Lola popping the last bubble (Charlie and Lola).
The bedtime business song features all the animal toys in the London CBeebies room.
New Bedtime Song
The sun going down and the moon coming up (ZingZillas), children sleeping break, the birds watching the shooting stars (3rd & Bird), Dan reading a story (Driver Dan's Story Train), Georgina tucking Lucy to bed (64 Zoo Lane), Timmy and Paxton sleeping (Timmy Time), Makka Pakka sleeping (In the Night Garden...) and Owl flying in the sky (Tinga Tinga Tales).
Original Bedtime Song
Georgina tucking Lucy to bed (64 Zoo Lane), Tombliboos chattering before bed (In the Night Garden...), Lola yawning (Charlie and Lola), Igglepiggle sailing away (In the Night Garden...), Mama Mirabelle sending everybody to sleep (Mama Mirabelle's Home Movies) and Mr Tumble going to sleep (Something Special). the moon rising up (Harry and Toto).
Wendy finding a shirt (Bob the Builder), very small Robbie Rotten clothes (LazyTown), Tombliboos putting their trousers on (In the Night Garden...) Lola bumping into the clothes stand, not looking where she is going (Charlie and Lola), Bob brushing his hair (Bob the Builder) a duck's new hat (Jakers! The Adventures of Piggley Winks), Lola clipping her coat (Charlie and Lola), a Tombliboo getting his trousers (In the Night Garden...), Bob showing his new boots (Bob the Builder), a pig's glasses (Jakers! The Adventures of Piggley Winks), Charlie wrapping Lola's scarf (Charlie and Lola), Bob getting his new boots on (Bob the Builder), In the Night Garden... breaks of Tombliboos, LazyTown members (LazyTown), Molly tells Wendy the shirt suits her (Bob the Builder), In the Night Garden... breaks of Upsy Daisy and Lola telling Charlie she's ready (Charlie and Lola).
The CBeebies website coincided with the launch of the UK channel in February 2002 and showcases a child friendly site with activities themed to all CBeebies programmes, past and present, with games, songs and print-outs featuring for nearly all shows. The UK version also features links to CBeebies iPlayer, a child friendly version of the BBC iPlayer featuring CBeebies programmes only, to CBeebies radio player and a dedicated micro site containing advice for raising children and toddlers called CBeebies Grown-ups, which was relaunched in 2011.
The international channels are run by BBC Worldwide, and their websites are operated by the company also. As a result, not all of them are the same and some channels have less extensive websites than other services. CBeebies channels in Asia, Australia, Poland, South Africa and the USA all have their own international variant.
The CBeebies Album was released in 2006 featuring the songs that Presenters Sue Monroe, Nicole Davis, Justin Fletcher, Sarah Jane Honeywell, Eva Alexander, Chris Jarvis and Pui Fan Lee broadcasted on the real CBeebies.
The UK channel and the programmes it has broadcast have received a number of awards throughout the years. In 2002, the Cbeebies Interactive TV Services was nominated in the Best Interactive Service category and CBeebies Online was nominated in the same category in 2005 at the BAFTA Children's Awards. The channel was awarded Best Children's Channel and Highly Commended at the Broadcast Digital Channel Awards 2006, however only achieved a nomination in 2007 and 2008. The channel was also named Children's Channel of the Year at the BAFTA Children's awards in 2007 and was nominated for Channel of the Year in 2008 and 2009
The CBeebies UK website was nominated Best Interactive Site at the 2007 BAFTA Children's awards, and the brand as a whole also won the Best Design and Innovation award by the Royal Television Society, whose awarding panel said "Its website is an integral part of the brand, with its TV production and online teams working together to create innovative game play and immersive web experiences."
- BBC Children's idents
- BBC Worldwide
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