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Wednesday, 25 October, 2000, 14:56 GMT 15:56 UK
Tweenies bank on pop stardom
The Tweenies: Bella, Milo, Fizz and Jake
The BBC is hoping The Tweenies will have a top ten hit
Children's TV favourites the Tweenies are following in the footsteps of the Teletubbies and are launching an assault on the pop charts.

The track, entitled No 1, is being released next week, and will be followed by a Tweenies album.

Producer Henrik Korpi, who has worked with acts including the Vengaboys and Aqua, was drafted in by BBC Worldwide to work on the album.

The adventures of Milos, Fizz, Jake and Bella have been sold to 25 countries around the world, and bosses at the BBC's commercial arm hope their pop career will have helped them to make 110m in spin-offs.

Arena tour

There will also be a live Tweenies arena tour at the end of the year and into 2001, which will play to 300,000 people.

"That means the Tweenies will be performing live to more people than Britney Spears on her current UK tour," said BBC Worldwide chief executive Rupert Gavin.

Not left out in the cold: The Teletubbies

"Brooklyn Beckham is a keen fan of the Tweenies and his favourite characters are Milo and Fizz."

The Teletubbies, which were launched in 1997, have made more than 1 billion in merchandising in 120 countries. The show's success paved the way for other BBC shows to be launched as global brands.

Tweenies, which came onto the scene two years later, are aimed at an older audience than the Teletubbies, who released their own single and album in 1998.

Mr Gavin believes the Teletubbies' position in childrens' hearts is safe from the Tweenies' attack.

'Unique' Teletubbies

"The Teletubbies will go on forever because they are are a unique product. We're happy to have two global products," he said.

He said of the Tweenies' progress: "Twenty-five countries is very good at this stage.

"It has started in France and Spain, and a lot of the smaller countries, like Slovenia and Croatia, will build up the numbers, usually in a couple of years."

Profits will initially cover production costs, and the excess is then split between the BBC and Tell-Tale Productions, the independent company which makes the show.

Tell-Tale's managing director Karl Woolley is expected to become a multi-millionaire through the deal, although Mr Gavin would only say the settlement was "extremely generous to both parties".

Mr Woolley added: "My wife's very happy."

See also:

21 Jun 00 | Entertainment
Tweenies hit 40m jackpot
20 Apr 00 | Entertainment
Bob the Builder fixed for Japan
08 Mar 00 | Entertainment
Teletubbies hit the PlayStation
25 Feb 00 | Entertainment
Tweenies take on the world
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