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Tuesday, 20 November, 2001, 12:53 GMT
40m for BBC children's channels
Story Tellers presented by Danny John-Jules with Jelly and Jackson
Story Tellers with Danny John-Jules: Part of Cbeebies
The two new digital children's channels announced by the BBC on Monday will have a budget of 40m and launch in Spring 2002.

The new channels will expand CBBC's output by an extra 1,000 hours a year and the extra spend will bring the department's budget to some 100m.

Tweenies
Tweenies: Part of the pre-school offering
The BBC has promised that the two channels will be coupled with interactive platforms that will fully exploit the latest technologies and be free of advertising and sponsorship.

And they will use the resources of the BBC's animation unit at Bristol, now joined to CBBC.

Cbeebies

The pre-school channel, called Cbeebies, is aimed at children under six.

It will consist of repeating, four-hour blocks of programming, 90% of which will be European-made.

Every hour there will be an episode of a major pre-school series like Teletubbies or Tweenies, and each four-hour block will end with a story hour.

Cbeebies will also feature the BBC's first pre-school drama, Applecross.

Applecross is a major commission of 126 episodes from BBC Scotland, a "living story book" set in a fictional Scottish village with a cast of adult and child actors.

There will be seven other new commissions on Cbeebies, offering a mixture of presenter-led live action, puppets and animation.

Cbeebies will also programme popular and established children's series.

CBBC

The CBBC channel, for six to 13-year-olds, aims to use interactive and online platforms to create a children's community of viewers across the UK.

Blue Peter's Liz Barker, Simon Turner, Konnie Huq and Matt Baker
Blue Peter has developed two new series
The channel will consist of 75% European-made programming.

Weekday transmissions on the CBBC channel will start and finish with Xchange - the largest single commission in CBBC history, with 1,040 episodes over two years.

The programme will set the agenda in the morning and return at the end of the day, encouraging the audience actively to participate by sending in ideas and points of view.

CBBC will have a dedicated drama hour every weekday, as well as comedy and a behind-the-scenes showbusiness offering called Call The Shots.

CBBC Scotland is making two entertainment shows for the channel.

Rule The School portrays a specially created CBBC academy where breakdancing might replace PE and text messaging might be part of the timetable.

The Raven is a 20-part reality game show shot entirely on location, where the only aim is to be the last one standing.

Nigel Pickard
CBBC Controller Pickard: Output up by 1,000 hours
Documentary programming will include Making It - on the search for a new CBBC presenter - and Extreme Challenge, in which eight volunteers go to Borneo on a conservation mission, reporting back to the UK on videophones.

Newsround will form an integral part of the new service, with up to three bulletins every week day.

And Blue Peter has developed two 26-part series for the channel - Blue Peter Unleashed and Blue Peter Flies the World.

CBBC channel will also offer a schools schedule drawn from the BBC's extensive archives.

The new channels, said CBBC controller Nigel Pickard, would herald a new "golden age" in children's programming.

See also:

20 Nov 01 | TV and Radio
BBC children's channels unveiled
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