| 1992-2000 | Interviews | Handout Shots | Presenters
saw a reworking of Children's BBC at the weekends. The slot was
renamed The Children's BBC Breakfast Show and was given
a bespoke ident and even it's own modified broom cupboard set.
The new look
Breakfast Show was presented by Toby Anstis. Programmes included
repeats of ChuckleVision and The Racoons, while
features included Philippa Forrester's Wincey Willis-inspired
weather forecaster character and a regular competition called
'Heart Of The Platter' in which the prize was a plate of plastic
time, Andi Peters continued to present in the afternoons with
Edd the Duck, though Wilson the Butler departed in Autumn 1992.
Over the coming months, Andi's preoccupation with tank tops gathered
momentum, culminating in the launch of National Tank Top Day!
Andi encouraged viewers to wear a tank top on a given afternoon
and even managed to get several familiar BBC names involved -
including Terry Wogan and the whole Blue Peter team!
The BBC1 summer
morning schedule was again handed over to Children's BBC for 1993.
After six years, the BFT name was dropped. The
links came from the cityscape set in Presentation A, which had
been introduced the year before, along with a new exterior set
following an American 'Route 66' theme. This roof top set featured
inflatable cadillacs, giant cacti, palm trees and a winding road.
Popular phone-in game Maggot Moments returned, this time
with beach-themed graphics. Viewers were also invited to send
in postcards from their holiday locations to be pinned onto a
1993 links followed largely the same format as previous years.
Philippa and Toby were joined by a new presenter, Zoe Ball, a
former researcher on Channel 4's The Big Breakfast and
the daughter of veteran children's TV host Johnny Ball.
with the American theme of the set, a specially filmed trailer
was staged to promote this season's holiday mornings. Inspired
by the musical Grease, Philippa and Toby took on the roles
of Sandy and Danny, with Zoe and Andi providing the backing vocals.
Even Edd the Duck popped up!
in the afternoons during summer 1993, Andi and Edd took full advantage
of the good weather by presenting each Wednesday afternoon from
the roof of Television Centre. These links were introduced from
a special exterior Broom Cupboard set, bedecked with foliage.
Andi and Edd
spent much of the summer tracking down artists that had sung the
theme tunes to many of Children's BBC's most popular programmes.
Letters from viewers encouraged the pair to invite the singers
in to the Broom Cupboard to perform these theme tunes live. Several
duly obliged and viewers were treated to live renditions of The
Legend of Prince Valiant and Tales of the Tooth Fairies
themes. As with many successful Children's BBC items, this was
repeated a couple of years later when Toby Anstis held 'Musical
Fix It Day'.
1993, Edd the Duck introduced his own puppet! In a somewhat ironic
move, Edd became the pupeteer of Tedd - a small squaking teddy
bear. As with many of the previous peripharal Broom Cupboard characters,
Tedd began receiving post from viewers with pictures and even
minature jumpers being sent in!
leaves? Edd's last day? Did he have one? Check with Mark Wilson
left Children's BBC on 3rd September 1993. His last day was notable
in that the links included a look behind the scenes of the presentation
department. Viewers saw the NC1 and NC2 galleries and the main
camera view in the broom cupboard was supplemented by a reverse
A big surprise
during Andi's final link was the unexpected substitution of a
trailer for Parallel 9, the independently-produced summer
Saturday morning programme, with a broom cupboard clip from two
years previously, in which he and Edd wore their Des Lynam tribute
wigs! Toby, who was to take over the afternoon mantle, joined
Andi for the final link, presenting him with his favourite cake
- a battenberg!
Broom Cupboard set was actually the BBC 1 continuity area, it
was usual for the Broom Cupboard presenter to link into Neighbours
- the first programme after Children's BBC - usually out of vison,
over the iconic BBC 1 globe. This avoided the complications of
a quick change from the children's presenter to the duty continuity
announcer. For Andi's last Neighbours link however, he appeared
in vision alongside Toby offering advice on how to approach this
regular junction. He decided "Sometimes try to be funny,
Sometimes try to be clever. But if you can't be clever just say
This is BBC 1!"
as the new afternoon presenter was augmented by a revised broom
cupboard set, and new on screen graphics. These were rolled out
in trails, slides and also appeared as physical manifestations
in the broom cupboard itself. They featured animated, stylised
versions of the letters H, I, N and S from the Children's BBC
ident who eventually became characters in their own right, with
Toby dubbing the letter I as Percy! Percy generated a large amount
of correspondence from viewers and was eventually given away in
big feature during his stint in the Broom Cupboard was his "Lookalikies"
competition - where viewers were invited to send in photographs
of friends and family who bore a resemblance to a celebrity. The
Children's BBC office were inundated with photographs, and the
competition ran for much of the Autumn. The range of lookalikies
being suggested was very diverse - with family members posing
as stars from Michael Fish to Mr Blobby!
story telling series Jackanory returned to Children's BBC
in Autumn 1993 and this was treated with due reverence by Toby,
who would encourage viewers to sit down and relax in front of
the show, with tea and cake!
A new addition
to the schedule at this time was the acquired cartoon Moomin,
based on the books by Finnish author Tove Jansson. The series
quickly caught on, with Children's BBC launching a weekly Moomin
competition, the prizes in which were much sought-after toys specially
flown over from Finland! The popularity that ensued was referred
to as Moomin Mania and generated a huge amount of correspondence
A set was redesigned in Autumn 1993 and given an outer space theme.
This was now the home of Sunday morning links, as well as the
weekday morning birthday slot and any weekday afternoons where
the service was broadcast on BBC2. Together with this new set,
a new presenter was introduced at this time - Chris Jarvis. This
Essex-born former radio DJ stayed for several years, and indeed
remains involved today as a presenter on pre-school channel
CBeebies. Chris' skills as a comedy writer and actor led to
the creation of many characters during this initial tenure.
such character was obsessive Children's BBC fan, The Anorak; a
smelly, ageing train spotter who would regularly drop into the
Broom Cupboard to plague Toby. The game Beat the Anorak
emerged, in which he would compete against a viewer at home in
answering questions about CBBC programmes in order to win a Spotting
Jotter. The game also led to somewhat of a catchphrase for
the Anorak - "I know". Such was The Anorak's ubiquity
over the next year or so, he was eventually even given his own
publicity handout shot!
in September 1993, Andi Peters' Saturday morning programme Live
and Kicking had introduced viewers to Ratz, a CGI cat character,
whose facial expressions were captured live by actor Paul Brophy.
Ratz was cutting edge technology and, presumably to justify the
expense, the character also appeared in Children's BBC links -
usually on Sunday mornings with Philippa and occasionally in the
afternoons for the next few months. At Christmas 1993 he was also
given his own phone in game - Rat Run.
of 1994 was marked with one of Children's BBC most ambitious competitions
to date. Viewers were given the chance to design a brand new Broom
Cupboard set which would be built and used permanently. The winning
design centred around a giant fist punching a hole in the wall.
The new set was unveiled in ???, but in the end would actually
only be used for several WEEKS/MONTHS. On the new set being unveiled,
no explanation was given as to why the fist was replaced by a
rather limp looking foot!
1994 links came entirely from another rooftop set, this year boasting
the most ambitious construction to date. The new design would
last two summers and was based on a castaway theme, loosely dubbed
the "Holiday Island". The spacious set featured a cave,
bridge, beach hut and a rotating platform. This set
was used for two summers, and left standing on the TC4 roof in
the meantime. It was later discovered the weight of the set was
too great for the roof it was standing on and had to be taken
Summer 1994 Philippa, Zoe and Chris were joined by a new host
- actress and RADA student, Josie D'Arby.
something of a holiday romance during her first summer on the
island. She fell in love with another of Chris Jarvis' comedy
characters, Carlos Tombolas. Carlos was clearly bad news,
though Josie couldn't see it. Normally only seen as a hand in
the corner of the screen, in a fashion not dissimilar to that
of Wilson the Butler, Carlos was jailed by the end of the summer,
albeit after borrowing plenty of money from Josie! Carlos would
eventually return for Josie's last day in 1997, where she finally
told him where to go!
At the end of July 1994 Philippa left Children's BBC. More info
on her last day?
COMP - CHRIS AND JOSIE SUNG. WOULD START EVERY AFTERNOON. SUMMER
SONG COMP THE SUMMER 1994 OR 5?
At the end
of the summer, Children's BBC moved back indoors, but not back
into the Broom Cupboard. After nine years in NC1, thd Children's
BBC links moved lock, stock and barrel to down the corridor to
Presentation A, where a new set had been constructed. The last
existing Broom Cupboard set was left standing in NC1, in case
of technical breakdown, but was never used again. The new set
included two Broom Cupboard-inspired desk areas as well as a video
wall, fireman's pole and sofa area.
of the old order remained, however, with a small vision mixer
being included on one of the desk areas, to allow the presenter
of the morning birthday slot to select overhead close-ups of the
birthday card being featured.
first weeks in Presentation A, the long running Children's BBC
series Take Two, now fronted by former Newsround
host Juiliet Morris, included a behind the scenes report on the
new look. In this item, Toby explained that research had shown
viewers wanted a bigger set and more guests, all of which the
new look would enable. Indeed the coming months saw a flurry of
visitors to the new set - everyone from members of the EastEndersto
cast to movie star Leslie Neilsen!
A new ident
was also introduced at this time, designed by graphic design firm
Lambie Nairn which saw the existing Children's BBC logo recreated
in 3D. For the first time, a series of supplementary idents were
also created to sit alongside this main logo. Pink cows, robot
dogs and rockets were just three of the themes which were created
from a mix of media including from plasticine, 3d models and 2d
animation. This series of idents was added to over the next three
years with around 30 idents being created in all.
A new, earlier,
start time was introduced at this point. Having traditionally
begun at 3.50pm (4.10pm in summer) for many years, Children's
BBC now began at 3.30pm. This allowed for the broadcast of more
programmes for younger children earlier in this afternoon, repeats
of Playdays being a notable early airing in the newly created
BBC also took advantage of the emergence of the internet by introducing
an e-mail address at this point.
GREG HASN'T READ FROM HERE
complete the new look the decision was taken to introduce a new
puppet character in the Autumn of 1994. This was done gradually
over a number of weeks with Toby Anstis finding a series of clues,
including an ant farm and a t-shirt bearing the legend ANT, before
the Chuckle Brothers, in as guests one afternoon, actually spotted
Otis for the first time.
the Aardvark was a much larger puppet than those that had preceded
him. The puppet was designed to stand in the front of camera shots,
as opposed to behind a desk as had been necessary previously.
At first Otis didn't speak, rather he grunted in his first appearances.
After several days, and in what appeared to be an about turn,
the character began to speak, revealing he had had a cold recently!
Within months Otis' voice became higher and quicker and the initial,
somewhat threadbare puppet was soon replaced by a much more appealing
this time, Toby began taking more time off to fulfill other presenting
engagements, such as the BBC school's programme Le Club.
Zoe, Josie and Chris began making more regular appearances in
the afternoon from this point.
- just in pics?
more 94/95 features.. watch bp tapes.
In early 1995,
Simeon Courtie was introduced to UK viewers. Simeon had joined
Children's BBC at the very start of the year to host the newly
introduced Children's BBC on Prime service. These pre-recorded
links were aired across Europe on the BBC's new satellite subscription
channel BBC Prime, and were generally much shorter than UK links.
the mid 90s trend of bright, primary coloured shirts and over
his 18 months at CBBC presented regularly in the afternoons and
holiday mornings. He also became the first presenter of the weekday
Breakfast Show. Introduced in Autumn 1995, the shift of
political programming from the BBC 2 morning schedule allowed
for a regular weekday breakfast slot to be introduced, under the
Children's BBC banner. In the first few weeks Simeon invited viewers
to design a new computer game and create their own breakfast cereal.
A serial of
another sort was also launched. Entitled Wood Lane TV,
this was a spoof soap opera consisting of a new three minute episode
each morning. Penned by Chris Jarvis (initially alongside Paul
Shuttleworth) Wood Lane became a huge success. The series saw
Chris and Josie playing several characters at a failing television
station. Receptionist Charlene was "Not as thick as
they make out" and involved in an on-off relationship with
wannabe pop star Brad Bundi. Brad was son of the station
boss Bruce Bundi who lusted after Wood Lane TV's Welsh
star Sophie Sapphire! The deliberately low production values
encouraged regular moments where various members of the crew would
have to don wigs and appear with their back to camera to allow
for both of Chris or Josie's characters to appear in one scene!
The series ran to around 200 episodes and featured two weddings,
a guest appearance from Grange Hill's Mr Bronson and even a visit
from the Queen...or rather a tattooed arm appearing in shot waving
royally! The series finished following Chris and Josie's commitment
to The Friday Zone, which began at the start of 1997.
Zoe Ball left
Chidren's BBC in March 1995, in readiness for her move to new
summer Saturday morning programme Fully Booked, which began
in April. Zoe's career would see her later switch to Channel 4
to replace Gaby Roslin as host of The Big Breakfast, then
return to Children's BBC to front Live and Kicking. Later,
she married DJ Norman Cook and continues to make regular TV and
1995, Children's BBC celebrated its 10th birthday. The occasion
was marked by a big on-air celebration with each of the past presenters
popping in to join the party. The same afternoon also marked Toby
Anstis' last day after 3 and a half years.
recalled that he was so nervous on his first day in the Broom
Cupboard that his producer thought he was going to jump out of
the fire escape! Whilst Andy Crane revealed he once had to fill
for 7 minutes when the Popeye VT reel snapped live on air!
Meanwhile Simon Parkin fondly remembered his own last day as the
one time Andi Peters let him get a word in!
The last link
of the afternoon saw Toby read a letter from Donna Potter - a
big Children's BBC fan who had written to many of the presenters
over the past 10 years. Toby was then given a farewell from his
luminaries, before revealing that Chris Jarvis, Josie D'Arby and
Simeon Courtie would be sharing presenting duties in the afternoons
from the following Monday.
meant that for the first time there was no single presenter in
the afternoons. Instead, Chris, Josie and Simeon presented in
pairs, usually joined by Otis. There were more big competitions
held during this period including 'Anorak go Home' - where viewers
were encouraged to design a new house for Chris Jarvis' Anorak
character - and a tie-in competition to comedy series 'Out of
Tune' where viewers were asked to form choirs and sing badly,
in the hope of being rewarded with a cameo role in the series!
The new look
afternoons also took full advantage of the increasing profile
of the internet in the lives of Children's BBC's target audience.
Regular questions were posed and viewers invited to email, phone
or fax in to the studio to share their thoughts and opinions on
the given subject of the day. These could range from 'If you could
have any famous person as your teacher, who would they be and
why?' to 'What is the most embarrassing thing your Mum or Dad has
ever done'. The success of these features changed the way Children's
BBC was able to operate - being able to get feedback and guage
response from viewers immediately. Email, phone and fax-in features
became commonplace in many links for several years.
MORE 95/96 AFTERNOON FEATURES?
Sunday morning slot continued apace through the 1995/1996 season,
fronted by the pairing of Chris Jarvis and Josie D'Arby. Aswell
as an omnibus of the week's Wood Lane TV, there were a host of
new comic games and sketches. These included Pets Win Nothing
- a phone-in game that was a bizarre hybrid of two Dale Winton
programmes - Supermarket Sweep and Pets Win Prizes!
There was also Club 10.30 hosted by shell-suit wearing entertainers
Barry and Veronica, superhero spoof Soup-A-Man and a fascination
with chocolate fingers!
on Sunday's included For Amusement Only, Ocean Odyssey
and re-runs of classic Grange Hill.
For the Easter
holiday mornings in 1996, a new presenter joined the UK CBBC team.
Like Simeon Courtie before her, Middlesbrough born Kirsten O'Brien
had been presenting links for Children's BBC on Prime for a month
previously. Kirsten went on to stay with Children's BBC for over
three years becoming a firm favourite and the first female to
regularly present in the afternoons.
first morning at Children's BBC was April 1st 1996. Together with
Simeon, Chris, Josie and Otis, Kirsten helped stage a big April
Fools Day joke. The team recorded a cover of the Remembrants track
"I'll Be There For You" and even filmed a music video.
Throughout the morning and afternoon links the presenters promoted
the record, which was apparenly available in the shops. There
was even a live link with Mark Goodier/MAYO?? at Radio 1 who confirmed
the record had made it onto the station's playlist. In anticipation,
press releases had been sent to journalists the previous week
promoting this 'Otis Records' release!
that afternoon however, Josie appeared live from presentation
A to reveal it was all a joke!
the end of the second series of Live and Kicking on Saturday
mornings in April 1996, the decision was taken to move the Summer
replacement programme Fully Booked to Sunday's. This led
to Children's BBC Presentation taking over the full Saturday morning
schedule for five months.
A new brand
was introduced, under the name Saturday Aardvark. Fronted
by Otis the Aardvark, Simeon Courtie and Kirsten O'Brien, it would
provide a wrap-round format for programmes including The Raccoons,
acquired cartoon compendium The Marvel Action Hour, teen
drama Sweet Valley High and The O Zone (on Saturday's
for the first time).
features included a simplified version of phone-in game Ask the
Aardvark, and guest experts Tone the Trick (magic), Matt the Showbiz
Expert (media) and Dr Dave (medical). There were also guests,
comedy from Chris and Josie's Soup-A-Man sketches, and VT inserts
World of the Weird and Dominic's Cunning Stunts.
also introduced Sister Otis to Children's BBC. Just one in a long
line of Otis' alter egos, Sister Otis was a cool nun that popped
in to offer her opinion on pictures sent in by viewers, as a sort
of ant-eating equivalent of Sister Wendy.
the success of Sister Otis a series of other Aardvark characters
began to regularly appear in sketches, or just to plague the presenters!
Superhero "Noodle Boy" was always on hand to save the
world, alongside Kirsten's "Spaghetti Girl" character!,
whilst the "Wizard of Woo" was a mystical Aardvark who
dabbled in all things paranormal.
appointment at Easter was followed in the Summer by Richard McCourt,
a former hospital radio DJ from Sheffield. The pair co-presented
many of the holiday mornings that season from a new treehouse
set on the roof of Television Centre. This year's phone-in game,
Ant Tastic, saw tennis balls pelted at a giant ant costume - usually
new boy McCourt.
At the end
of the Summer, Simeon Courtie left Children's BBC. His last day
was somewhat unusual in that he and Richard McCourt barely appeared
on-screen together - as they were wearing clashing lime green
shirts! However they did reunite at the end of the morning for
a final farewell. Simeon moved to ITV to present new Saturday
morning programme WOW (most notable for heroically going
to air, albeit from the car park, when a power cut had hit the whole
of the Maidstone region, from where the programme was broadcast!).
the return of Live and Kicking in Autumn 1996, the weekend schedule
switched back to normal - with the long-form BBC Two Sunday morning
schedule returning for another season. This time round Chris Jarvis
and Josie D'Arby played telephone Karaoke with viewers and hosted
a spoof cooking game entitled Mastertrough. There were still plenty
of other regular sketches, guests and, of course, chocolate fingers.
Chris Jarvis and Josie D'Arby's appointment to The Friday Zone
- a live variety show which they also co-wrote - in January 1997,
their appearances on Children's BBC were limited to just this
Sunday morning slot. As such, Wood Lane TV closed it's doors and
a replacement was mounted under the title Otis Vision.
Presented by Otis the Aardvark, each three minute segment followed
a different theme. Monday was "A Few of my Favourite Things",
where a celebrity would show Otis some of their most prized possessions,
Tuesday was "Otis' Masterclass" where the Aardvark would
teach drawing, Wednesday's Telly Time Travels looked at classic
television programmes, Thursday welcomed The Wizard of Woo who
showed strange photos under the banner "World of the Weird"
and Friday's "Heroes Hall of Fame" celebrated TV legends.
this time the Breakfast Show was regularly presented by Richard
McCourt and, from April, Dominic Wood - who was already familiar
to viewers from The Friday Zone. Features around this time
included Funky Fridge Magnets, in which viewers were asked to
send in fridge magnets they had made, The Daily Brekky - Children's
BBC's own newspaper and Hair History where viewers were invited
to send in before and after pictures of their embrassing hair-dos!
D'Arby left Children's BBC in early 1997 to prepare to move to
the new Channel 5 - where she first fronted children's magazine
The Mag. Chris continued alone on Sunday mornings until
the Summer when he too departed.
it's 1997 series Fully Booked again ran on Sunday mornings,
from April, allowing for the return of the Saturday Aardvark over
the Summer. Kirsten O'Brien and Otis hosted again, while new features
included Infosphere - a look at computer games and technology,
Sister Otis' Saturday Habit - where the skydiving Nun looked back
over the previous week's celebrity news and more magic from Dominic
Wood. Guests over this season included John Craven and Kermit
1997, Children's BBC was moved to a new studio, a converted make-up/WIG
store, situated next to the Blue Peter garden in Television Centre.
The presentation department that was home to NC1 and 2 as well
as presentation studio A had been declared unsafe with asbestos
and was closed.
The move to
the new Studio 9 took place in June 1997. This area was slightly
bigger than Presentation A and contained an open foyer area that
was designed to be filmed in too. Glass windows and a balcony
overlooked the Blue Peter Garden, which was also regularly used
during good weather. A spacious new set was installed, full of
9 shaped furniture.
The last afternoon
in Presentation studio A was marked with a special appearance
by Phillip Schofield who popped in to reminisce with Kirsten about
his time in the presentation department, whilst Andi Peters spoke
to Richard on the phone. Phillip assured Kirsten that it was Gordon,
not him, that had received sackloads of fanmail years earlier
and revealed that he still watched Children's BBC with his daughters.
the move, for the first time ever (in Autumn ?? JUNE/JULY?? 1997),
all of the Children's BBC presenters were away at the same time,
owing to holidays and illness. A stand-in presenter was found,
in the shape of Paul Hendy, familiar to viewers as the host of
factual programme Dear Mr Barker. Paul presented three
days of afternoons and breakfast shows, attributing the regular
presenters' absence as a case of Spottyitus. For the Thursday
afternoon of that week, Blue Peter's Richard Bacon stood-in, whilst
normal service was resumed with the return of Dominic Wood on
holiday mornings for 1997 were given a big revamp. A new banner
heading 'Holidays On Two' (HOT) was introduced. This subtittle
would remain in use for several years of holiday mornings.
first series of HOT was presented by Richard McCourt and Dominic
Wood. The six weeks of live morning links included phone in game
Buckets and Spades, competitions such as Be On TV and Spidey
Scrawls, together with interviews and ???.
summer provided many memorable moments including Dominic getting
stuck inside the 9 shaped sofa during a particularly manic game
of Buckets and Spades and ??
pairing of McCourt and Wood proved popular and was developed further
over the next few months, with the pair continuing to regularly
host the Breakfast Show together. Flatmates too, they became firm
friends and several years later would take Saturday mornings by
storm with their award winning programme Dick and Dom in da
O'Brien and Otis looked after the afternoons during this period,
which saw a re-run of the popular Australian series Round the
Twist, which had first aired on Children's BBC in 19??. The
programme's catchy theme tune generated many irate letters and
emails from viewers, complaining about Kirsten talking over the
end credits. These complaints won out as for the last programme
in the series, the full ?? second sequence was allowed to run
through without interruption!
In line with
the new BBC corporate branding, Children's BBC received a new
set of idents and a new logo in October 1997. The yellow and black
theme that had been used on various props in the set during the
previous few months was built upon. Now all of the CBBC graphics
adhered strictly to this theme, in what was the most ?? logo to
This new logo
presented the shortened title "CBBC" on screen for the
first time. The "Children's" name was initally still
used verbally, but soon dropped altogether.
born session-singer Anji Kreft was the next new face to
join Children's BBC, on September 28th 1997. Over the next nine
months, Kreft presented the Sunday morning links alongside Richard
McCourt, and found time to appear over the Christmas and Easter
holidays, whilst still living in the North.
Kreft employed her singing talents to write and record various
jingles for Sundays, including stings for features Nine Nutty
Notions, Family Frolics and phone-in game Gnome
That Tune, which was fronted by her alter-egos Delightful
Deirdre and Venezuala.
Richard McCourt and Anji Kreft's time on
Sunday mornings, there was also a bizzare preoccupation with garden
gnomes! As well as Gnome That Tune there was the regular Mind
Your Gnome Business feature and the Children's BBC mailbag
became brimming with gnome related paraphernalia. Towards the end
of the season, Anji and Richard even presented the whole of one
Sunday morning from a gnome reserve in the South West!
Booked returned to Sunday mornings in April 1998, marking Kreft's
departure from CBBC.
Anji's departure, CBBC's next new face was Steve Wilson.
The former Westcounty TV presenter made his first CBBC appearance
during half-term in June 1998. The following month, the HOT format
returned for a second Summer of mornings. Dominic Wood was away
for the first four weeks, filming his own CBBC series The Animal
Magic Show. Instead Steve Wilson co-hosted with Richard McCourt
for the first month, before Dominic Wood joined the pair for the
Summer included a new phone-in game Ducking and Diving,
based in the Blue Peter garden. Callers would answer questions
to give a blindfolded Steve more time in a paddling pool from
which he had to collect small ducks. There was also ???
1998, Dominic Wood bowed out of Children's BBC. His last day was
a relatively quiet affair, with Richard McCourt encouraging viewers
to continue writing to Dominic at the usual address! Wood continued
to present programmes for Children's BBC, including The Animal
Magic Show and Hyperlinks. In 2002 he returned to CBBC
Presentation, alongside Richard McCourt, in their new guise of
Dick and Dom.
recall specific hot moment(s) summer afternoon moments?
success of HOT over the summer, Steve Wilson joined Kirsten and
Otis on a more permanant basis in the afternoons. A small revamp
of the set introduced a new sofa and videowall, both more traditional
than the previous 9 shaped offerings. The sofa provided scope
for Otis' new comic creations The Little People. The Aardvark
would pop up from behind the sofa at the end of each afternoon
to update viewers on the latest developments in the unseen Little
People's world - from their attempts to fly a hot air balloon
to running their own Winter Olympics!
split of presenters.??? neccessary??
The end of
series four of Fully Booked in Summer 1998 allowed for the return
of the long-form Sunday morning CBBC links again. This season
Richard was joined by former radio newsreader Ana Boulter.
The phone in game this year was the supermarket themed Topple
the Blocks, which bore an uncanny resemblance to children's
game Jenga! An early embarrassing moment for Ana came on her first
day when she was held responsible for misinforming Richard MCourt
on the correct spelling of the word Potatoes! This almost led to
the child on the phone losing the game!
over this series included the bizarre Sud-U-Like, in which
viewers were encouraged to send in novelty soaps and Factfiles
- an opportunity to list your hobbies and interests and have your
photo shown on screen.
OtisVision strand no longer ran on a daily basis, Otis the Aardvark
continued to provide plenty of comic sketches throughout 1998.
Favourites included 'Pointy Views' which gave viewers an opportunity
to feed back their opinions of CBBC shows to Otis' latest creation
- Fanny Robinson - and 'Dr O' a sketch set in a doctors surgery
which usually ended in one of Otis' co-presenters being hit on
the head with a giant mallet by the unseen 'nursey' character!
For Christmas, his Grotty Grotto marked the lead up to
the festive season, with Otis offering his advice on buying presents,
food and the like, whilst lamenting his recent break-up with girlfriend
Suzie Creamcheese! (CHECK THIS). DON'T THINK THIS WAS
1998 - PROB 1997?
morning of links from December 27th 1998 was handed over to a
set of pre-recorded sketches, filmed on location in a department
store, which followed Otis shopping in the sales much to the disdain
of the stores staff - various characters all played by Richard
McCourt and Steve Wilson. One notable link featured a montage
of Otis testing out new sofas, to the sounds of classic James
track 'Sit Down'!
Saturday night entertainment show Whatever You Want began
it's second series on BBC One in April 1999. The first programme
offered several young wannabes the chance to become a CBBC presenter.
Initial auditions were held in Studio 9, with the best three invited
to a further audition in front of the live 200 strong Whatever
You Want audience, and millions of viewers at home. The lucky
candidates - Barney, Emma and Michael - presented a mini Children's
BBC afternoon, showing viewer's drawings and interviewing Otis
the Aardvark. The studio audience then voted for their favourite,
with Northampton born Michael Underwoood winning the prize.
awarded a 6 week contract with CBBC to present the remodelled
summer Saturday morning links, now branded Planet Saturday,
alongside Kirsten and Otis. His contract was soon renewed and
infact Michael stayed for two years.
Saturday continued in largely the same format as the Saturday
Aardvark before it. Otis was on hand with two new comic creations
- Timmy the Adventure Panda and Claus Von Loony
- alongside old favourites such as Sister Otis and Noodle Boy.
There were also
guests (including one appearance from the Dutchess of York!) and
each programme would end with a trip to the Blue Peter garden
to look at the chimps which apparently lived amongst the undergrowth!
latter half of 1999 saw several comings and goings. Steve Wilson
left in August following his appointment as host of Live and
the Aardvark finished his five year stint in Autumn 1999, making
him one of CBBC's longest serving presenters to date. Otis continued
to present other programmes including Clever Creatures and
Insides Out for Children's BBC.
Otis' first appearances several years previously, new puppet character
Emlyn the Gremlyn was first seen popping up - unmentioned
- in the back of shot before Otis later revealed Emlyn was actually
CBBC's newest presenter. Emlyn appeared most regularly with Ana
Boulter and stayed at CBBC for nearly two years.
Kirsten O'Brien left before Christmas too, choosing to concentrate
on other CBBC projects including SMart - a series that she continued to host for several years.
McCourt took two months off for pantomime over Christmas1999,
being replaced by newcomer Adrian Dickson. Richard returned
in early 2000 for a final stint, before leaving in March, whilst
Adrian remained until 2004.
brings us to the end of the next section of our history of CBBC.
In the next update -
Angellica Bell; Square Eyes; Ana Boulter departs; Liam Dolan;
Bash It Bobby; CBBC On Air.