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Tuesday, 14 November, 2000, 18:38 GMT
Year-round Blue Peter planned
bluecrew
Blue Peter's summer break will become a thing of the past
Blue Peter is set to run for 52 weeks a year as part of a scheduling shake-up at BBC children's television.

Nigel Pickard, controller of CBBC, has announced that the show will no longer take its traditional 10-week summer break.

However, the number of programmes will drop from three to two per week during the spring and summer months.

As a result, the overall number of programmes throughout the year will remain largely unchanged.

Award-winning children's programme Newsround is also undergoing changes, as it moves this winter from its long-standing 5pm slot to 5.25pm.

Pickard said the programme would attract a larger audience at this time and create a better flow in the schedule.

Next January also sees the return of classic children's series Bill and Ben to the BBC One afternoon schedule.

A team of animators from production company Cosgrove Hall has worked for a year to create a high-tech version of the legendary Flowerpot Men.

Bill & Ben
Bill and Ben in the days when strings were attached

"Basically, we've lost the strings and gone into stop-gap animation," said producer Frank Vose.

"It gives us kind of a different way of being able to make them move. It's allowed us to stretch the stories out more."

John Thomson, star of Cold Feet and The Fast Show, narrates the 26 episodes - each lasting 10 minutes.

He also voices the part of Bill, with voiceover actor Jimmy Hibbert - who co-wrote the scripts - as Ben.

See also:

23 Oct 00 | Entertainment
Flowerpot Men to blossom again
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