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Monday, 12 August, 2002, 23:21 GMT 00:21 UK
Play School windows revived
Play School presenters
Play School featured the windows in the 60s and 70s
The round, square and arched windows made famous in Play School are to return to children's TV after a 20-year absence.

They were an integral part of Play School from the 60s until 1982, with presenters asking viewers to guess which window the next part of the show would appear from.


It's a classic of its time - you have to guess whether it's the round, arched or square window, which goes down very well

Claire Elstow, CBeebies

The windows will return in a new BBC children's show, Tikkabilla, which will follow a similar format to the children's classic with presenters and characters inviting viewers to join in with games and songs.

The show will initially run on digital channel CBeebies, which is aimed at pre-school children.

"We've taken some of the most fantastic elements of Play School," said Nigel Pickard, controller of Children's BBC.

Claire Elstow of CBeebies said the show would not only appeal to children but also their parents, who may well remember the windows from Play School.

Tikkabilla
Tikkabilla is part of CBeebies' autumn line-up
"It's a classic of its time," she said. "You go through the windows and you have to guess whether it's the round, arched or square window, which goes down very well."

However, there are no plans to revive any of Play School's most popular characters - including cuddly toys Big and Little Ted, Humpty and Jemima.

Tikkabilla, which takes its name from a Hindi word, is part of a 30m investment in new shows for the next quarter.

This will finance programming on BBC One and BBC Two as well as for the two digital children's channels, CBeebies and CBBC.
The Fimbles
Fimbles is tipped to be as big as Teletubbies

Hopes are also high that another new CBeebies show, Fimbles, will become as popular as Teletubbies and Tweenies.

The show introduces a trio of brightly-striped characters - Fimbo, Florrie and baby Pom - who inhabit a magical valley.

"It's about discovery, but for me it's different to Teletubbies and Tweenies because it has a magical quality about it," said Pickard.

The BBC has already commissioned 130 episodes of the programme and will begin merchandising shortly after the series launches.
Cave Girl
A prehistoric teenager causes trouble in Cave Girl

Mr Pickard acknowledged that the BBC's other children's channel CBBC, which is aimed at six to 13 year-olds, still has "a way to go" to become established, and new shows would be aimed more at a core audience of under-11s.

These include Cave Girl, based on the prehistoric adventures of a troublesome teenager, played by actress Stacey Cadman.

"It's a lively look at the problems of growing up," Pickard explained, "It covers the sort of problems that kids have now, but in prehistoric times. It's a bit of fun."

See also:

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