Page last updated at 12:54 GMT, Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Jackanory should return to its roots, says Cribbins

By Tim Masters
Entertainment correspondent, BBC News

Bernard Cribbins in Doctor Who
Cribbins has been introduced to a new generation via Doctor Who

Veteran actor Bernard Cribbins has said he would like to see the children's storytelling series Jackanory return in its original format.

"I do wish that it could be brought back in the form that it used to be, with someone sitting one-to-one with a camera," Cribbins told the BBC.

The actor and presenter, who is 80, will receive the special award at the Children's Bafta Awards this weekend.

Cribbins holds the record for the most Jackanory appearances, notching up 111.

"It's like you talking to your children at bedtime, they look at you and they don't see anything else - they don't see flashing lights and CGI and all the rest of it," he said.

"I'm not knocking CGI. I think it is fantastic and what it does with stunt work - that is absolutely brilliant - but it seems to have been used unnecessarily a lot of the time."

'Wonderful stuff'

Bernard Cribbins discusses his long career in children's TV

Jackanory originally aired between 1965 and 1996, with stars reading nightly extracts from children's novels.

Former storytellers include Kenneth Williams, Dame Judi Dench, Sir Ian McKellen, Peter Sellers and Spike Milligan.

The show was revived in 2006 as an occasional series with animation, hand-painted illustrations and acted sequences.

Cribbins, who starred in classic film The Railway Children, said he thought the quality of children's television was still good.

"I suppose it does have to change, I'm just being an old fuddy duddy when I say I would love to see Jackanory back," he said.

"Blue Peter is still good - it does wonderful stuff and has done forever."

Cribbins was the voice of The Wombles in the 1970s TV series, and has gained a new generation of fans through his role as Wilfred Mott in the new series of Doctor Who.

He will receive the Bafta special award on Sunday for his outstanding creative contribution to the industry.

A spokeswoman for BBC Children's said: "Mr Cribbins will be pleased to know that Jackanory Junior is alive and well on CBeebies.

"On CBBC, we adapt books from well-known children's authors all the time - Dustbin Baby, written by Jacqueline Wilson, has just won an International Emmy."

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