Something Special is a children's television programme presented by Justin Fletcher. It was created and produced for 10 years by Allan Johnston. It is broadcast by the BBC. It is designed to introduce children to Makaton signing, and is specifically aimed at children with delayed learning and communication difficulties. It is aired on the CBeebies channel and in the past was also broadcast as part of the CBeebies programme strand on BBC One and BBC Two).
The name of the programme derives from the idea that all children, irrespective of their position on the learning spectrum, are special.
Their format of the show has evolved considerably since the original series. In 2012, a new series, "Something Special - We're All Friends" started, introducing some minor changes to the "Out and About" format. This format change has also included a change in location, and introduced the Tumble Tap, a tablet computer showing the "special things" to look for.
It is presented by Justin Fletcher ("Justin") and features various other characters (also played by Fletcher) and clips of children with disabilities. Justin speaks as well as signing, and a spoken narrative is provided over the clips of children.
The other characters played by Fletcher are the Tumble Family: Mr Tumble, an adult clown who himself displays delayed learning and communication difficulties, Grandad Tumble and Baby Tumble. Other members of the Tumble family to have made appearances include two Aunts - Polly and Suki (as in the popular nursery rhyme "Polly Put the Kettle On"), Lord Tumble and King Tumble.
In series 2, Justin meets a friend named Guy H Pickle, they dance around a mulberry bush.
The producer is Allan Johnston, who worked as a teacher of children with special needs before joining the BBC in 1989.
Each episode has a duration of approximately 15 minutes.
Series 3 "Out and About" (2008)
Series 3, again presented by Justin Fletcher, was produced in 2008. 'Guests' included Mr Tumble, Granddad Tumble, Aunt Polly, Aunt Sukey and Cliff Tumble (a parody of Cliff Richard, with whom Justin has a link though his father Guy Fletcher (songwriter)). This series was made at various locations across the UK, including Wales, Northern Ireland and England. Each episode has a duration of approximately 20 minutes.
Mr Tumble shorts (2009)
From 2009, CBeebies occasionally showed short programmes consisting of the Mr Tumble sections from the various episodes, without the sections featuring Justin. It appears that the BBC may view these programmes as series 4 of Something Special, as the full series which followed is referred to as series 5.
Series 5, 6 and 7 Out and About (2010-2012)
Series 5 of the show followed the Out and About format of series 3, in a "new, daily, week-day, year-round slot designed to provide continuity for its loyal audience" and introduced a new character, Lord Tumble. The series has Mr Tumble and the other Tumble characters primarily based in "Tumble House", a large detached house located in extensive grounds close to the sea. Justin Fletcher revealed this to be located in Porlock, Somerset. However visual comparison with The Old Rectory, East Portlemouth, Salcombe, Devon shows this to be the actual location. The house and grounds are populated with large coloured spots, balloons and similar circular/spherical items in keeping with the spots on Mr Tumble's costume. The episodes typically feature Mr Tumble sending photographs of items he is interested in finding out about to Justin using his "Spotty Bag". Justin, with the assistance of the children with him, locates these items or activities and in return sends associated items back to Mr Tumble. There is typically a link in the theme between the actions of Mr Tumble and the other Tumble characters, and the activities Justin and the children participate in.
Series 8 (Something Special - We're all friends) (2012-2013)
In 2012, a new series, "Something Special - We're All Friends" started, introducing some minor changes to the Out and About format. This format change has also included a change in location, and introduced the "Tumble Tapp", a tablet computer and game (the game is available on the Cbeebies website.
In a magical world of nursery rhymes, Justin meets a sailor who went to sea, sea, sea.
21 May 2007
Mr Tumble is busy looking after a toy baby.
21 May 2007
Dolly is sick, so Mr Tumble calls for a doctor.
23 May 2007
Justin decides to paint a picture.
24 May 2007
Children playing in a playground go up and down, inside and outside.
25 May 2007
Nursery Rhymes and Songs 4
Mr Tumble is trying to sleep, but there are five in the bed - Mr Tumble and four teddies.
11 June 2007
Justin looks at different birds.
12 June 2007
Justin has woken up and it's time for breakfast: cereal, toast and a lovely boiled egg.
13 June 2007
Mr Tumble has a great idea. He wants to have a tea party with some of his favourite toys, but gets into a bit of a mess.
14 June 2007
Justin looks at different animals
18 June 2007
Mr Tumble wants to dress up as a butterfly and do a butterfly dance.
18 June 2007
Nursery Rhymes and Songs 5
Mr Tumble's Aunties have come to tea but he has forgotten the biscuits.
19 June 2007
Mr Tumble steps through a magic door and goes off to the park for a picnic.
20 June 2007
Under, On and In
Big Teddy wants to go swimming, but can't find his bag, goggles and trunks.
21 June 2007
Mr Tumble has gone on holiday to the seaside, but he's gone at the wrong time of the year.
22 June 2007
Nursery Rhymes and Songs 2
Exploring a jungle in a magical world, Justin meets a tiger, a snake and a monkey.
26 June 2007
Justin explains that every year there are four seasons and explores each one.
27 June 2007
Mr Tumble is busy making a face from shapes, but he hasn't got enough shapes.
22 July 2007
Who Help Us The toys want to play school, so Mr Tumble joins in and pretends to do several jobs.
23 August 2007
Nursery Rhymes and Songs 1
Justin enters a magical world of nursery rhymes and songs. Mr Tumble dresses as an egg.
29 August 2007
Mr Tumble finds an enormous carrot growing in the ground. How can he pull it up?
29 October 2007
Mr Tumble likes his new Jack in the Box toy and decides to become one himself.
5 November 2007
It's Grandad Tumble's birthday, so Mr Tumble is going to do a magic show for him.
12 November 2007
Justin meets a puppy.
21 January 2008
Justin meets Jack and his teacher on Snowdon in Wales. Meanwhile, Mr Tumble wants his toy duck to have a paddle in a mountain lake.
22 January 2008
Justin meets Cheyenne and Savannah, who have taken their guinea pig, Patch, to the vet in Wokingham. Meanwhile, Mr Tumble decides to become a vet and help his animal toys feel better.
24 January 2008
Justin spends a day on a beach in Dorset with Chloe and Sophie. Meanwhile, Mr Tumble encounters Granddad Tumble at the beach.
25 January 2008
Justin goes to a school and meets Noor, who is in the hydrotherapy pool, and spends the day with her. Meanwhile, Mr Tumble plays some musical instruments to children in a classroom.
28 January 2008
Set at Corfe Castle station on the Swanage Railway (a heritage steam railway in Dorset), Justin meets Daniel, Callum and Miriam, and goes on a train ride with them. Meanwhile, Mr Tumble decides to work at the station.
30 January 2008
Justin meets Lily-Sue and Curtis at Craven Cottage (Fulham Football Club), Craven Cottage and play football with them. Meanwhile, Mr Tumble and Granddad Tumble play football with each other in a garden.
31 January 2008
Justin meets Harry and his family camping in the New Forest. Meanwhile, Mr Tumble has trouble setting up his tent to go camping.
1 February 2008
Justin visits Carrickfergus Castle in Northern Ireland, and meets Jack, Caroline and Ross. Meanwhile, Mr Tumble dons a crown, and pretends to be a King.
25 February 2008
Set on a farm in Dundonald near Belfast, Justin meets Ernie and Samantha. Meanwhile, Mr Tumble decides to help out on the farm.
26 February 2008
Justin meets Leah and Aidan in a wood near London. Meanwhile, Mr Tumble has a teddy bears' picnic in the woods.
27 February 2008
Justin meets Jake and Stuey at Weymouth Harbour, where they have a boat ride. Meanwhile, Mr Tumble and Granddad Tumble try to do some painting at the harbour.
28 February 2008
Justin meets Gary and Bridget in Enniskillen High Street, where they visit various shops. Meanwhile, Mr Tumble goes to the library, and upsets Aunt Polly and Aunt Sukey with his loudness. Mr Tumble introduces various members of his family via a book found in the library and a song is performed by Cliff Tumble (a parody of Cliff Richard).
29 February 2008
Justin meets Ross and goes shopping with him at a Belfast market. Meanwhile, Mr Tumble sells Granddad Tumble and Aunt Sukey some items on his market stall.
Justin and his friends, Rhys and Violet, visit Bembridge Airport on the Isle of Wight and fly in an aeroplane. They look for a helicopter, a fire engine and a pilot. Mr Tumble tries to fly, with some help from Granddad Tumble.
9 March 2010
Justin and his friends George and Georgia head off to Manchester city centre. They look for a double-decker bus, some shops and a fountain. Mr Tumble has to put on the right shoes and coat before he can catch his bus. He misses the bus, but Aunt Polly gives him a ride to the city on her bike.
10 March 2010
Justin and his friends, Oskar and Muzzammil go to a garden centre. They look for a wheelbarrow, a yellow plant and flower pot. Mr Tumble looks for a hole to put his flower into. Lord Tumble is first introduced in this episode, playing golf.
11 March 2010
By the Sea
Justin and his friends, Fahim and Violet, are by the sea in the Isle of Wight. They look for a chairlift (in Alum Bay), a lighthouse (on The Needles) and a game. They visit the lighthouse in a boat. Mr Tumble is a pirate looking for his treasure with some help from Granddad Tumble and Aunt Polly.
12 March 2010
Justin visits Sheffield Children's Hospital, where he sees Kieran who is going to have an operation on his ear. They look for a nurse, some pyjamas, and some toast. Mr Tumble visits Grandad Tumble in hospital, bringing some presents with him.
15 March 2010
Justin and his friends, Tobias and Lois, go boating in a houseboat on the Norfolk Broads. They look for a suitcase, a windmill (the Horning Windmill), and a duck. Mr Tumble tries to find a good place to put up his tent, but gets in the way of Aunt Polly and Grandad Tumble.
16 March 2010
Justin and his friends, Chantelle, Aimee and Molly, go to a Leisure centre. They look for a swimming pool, a float, and a bouncy castle. Mr Tumble takes part in a Sports day, competing with Aunt Polly for a throwing competition, Aunt Sukie for a bouncing competition and Grandpa Tumble for the egg and spoon race, with Lord Tumble acting as a judge. Mr Tumble fails to win a trophy, losing at all these events, but is given an egg cup for taking part.
17 March 2010
Justin and his friends William, Stephie and Dylan visit an animal park on the Isle of Wight (Amazon World Zoo). They look for a snake, some fruit and vegetables and an owl. Mr Tumble look for his animal - he finds Aunt Sookie's duck and Lord Tumble's rabbit, and discovers that Granddad Tumble has his animal (a tiger).
18 March 2010
Justin and his friend Courtney go to visit Alfie and Frankie. They look for a sitting room, some stairs and a kitchen. They dance, play musical statues and make some sandwiches. Mr Tumble's cousin, Cool Tumble comes to visit and they play musical bumps, build dens and play Hide-and-seek.
19 March 2010
Justin and his friends Tyrese, Casey and Jordan visit Trindledown Farm in Berkshire. They look for a spotty dog, a rabbit and a ginger cat. Mr Tumble looks after Aunt Sookie's dog
22 March 2010
Justin and his friends Alfie and Frankie visit Bushy Park in West London to go on a bike ride. They look for a bicycle, a stream and a bench. Mr Tumble is pretending to be a postman, so he uses a bicycle to deliver parcels to Lord Tumble, Aunt Polly and Grandad Tumble.
23 March 2010
Justin and his friends Saracen, Isaac and Lauren go for a walk around a farm to get ideas for their big farm picture. They look for a sheep, a pig and a donkey. Mr Tumble paints a picture.
24 March 2010
Justin and his friends Entesar and Adam go shopping at the supermarket (Asda). They look for a shopping trolley, a pineapple and some bowls. Mr Tumble brings his shopping home with help from Lord Tumble - but Lord Tumble puts things in the wrong places. At the start of the programme, Mr Tumble is seen in Frogmore, Devon.
25 March 2010
Justin and his friends Toni Clarice and Poppy visit a Butterfly World, Isle of Wight. They look for a caterpillar, a red flower and a café. Mr Tumble tries to film a butterfly with his new video camera, but it keeps flying away - thanks to Grandad Tumble's tricks!
26 March 2010
Justin and his friends, Felix, William and Jack travel on a school bus. They look for a school bus, a car wash and a playground. Mr Tumble cleans his car - using bubbles from Grandad Tumble's bath!
1 Nov 2010
Justin, Amy and Sebastian look for teeny tiny creatures that live in a park, whilst Mr Tumble goes fishing with Big Teddy.
2 Nov 2010
Justin visits his friends at their playgroup and joins them having fun at the water table, sandpit and playing the parachute game. Meanwhile Mr Tumble is playing some games of his own with Grandad Tumble and Lord Tumble.
3 Nov 2010
Justin has a very sporty day with his friends Tyrone, Claire and Sophie. Whilst Aunt Polly, Lord Tumble and Grandad Tumble show Mr Tumble how to do his exercises.
4 Nov 2010
Justin and his friends Adam and Levi are visiting the Farne Islands by boat to see the seals. Mr Tumble is visiting his friend Fisherman Tumble and helping him get ready to go out on his fishing boat.
5 Nov 2010
Justin has lots of fun dancing to a band at a music festival with his friend Jaya, while Grandad Tumble puts on a concert for Mr Tumble and the toys!
8 Nov 2010
Justin has a day out in London with his friends Sabia, Mihad and Saqib. Meanwhile, Mr Tumble has lots of fun at home with his London Book.
9 Nov 2010
Justin visits his friends at their school and has lots of fun with paint, while Mr Tumble paints a surprise for Grandad Tumble.
10 Nov 2010
Justin visits his friend Josh and helps him look after his baby sister Olivia for the day, while Mr Tumble gets ready for a very special baby visitor of his own.
11 Nov 2010
Justin has a great day at a village fete with Keiron and Nick. Whilst Mr Tumble holds his own Village Fete for the toys!
12 Nov 2010
Justin and his friends Grace and Danny visit a zoo and help the zoo keepers at feeding time. Justin helps shower a mummy elephant called Karishma and her three-week-old baby called George. Meanwhile, Mr Tumble has a very special job - cleaning out Harry the Hamster's cage. But who is looking after Harry?
15 Nov 2010
Justin and his friends perform The Hello Song to their friends. Meanwhile, Mr Tumble wants to be a pop star after watching his favourite singer Cliff Tumble on the TV.
16 Nov 2010
Justin goes strawberry picking with his friends, Jessica and Mason. Mr Tumble is very hungry and goes looking for fruit in the garden.
17 Nov 2010
Justin and his friends Grace, Julia and Kia are making a very special pudding called Mr Tumble Jumble. Mr Tumble is making something very special too - Grandad Tumbles lunch.
18 Nov 2010
Justin and his friend Bobbi find out what it's like to have a sleepover. They unpack Bobbie's overnight bag, have a barbecue on the beach and finish up with a lovely drink of hot chocolate. Mr Tumble is having a sleepover of his own in his garden.
19 Nov 2010
Justin spends the day with his friend Danny finding out what he does after school each day. Meanwhile Mr Tumble shows us what he does before he goes to bed.
22 Nov 2010
Justin is attending a party with all his friends. There are games to play, party food to eat and music to dance to. Meanwhile, back at the Tumble house there's a party going on too - a surprise party for Lord Tumble.
23 Nov 2010
Justin and his friend Rithika spend the day shopping in Southall. Mr Tumble has asked them to look for a sari, some jewellery and some Indian sweets. Mr Tumble is doing his washing and needs to find some spare clothes to wear while it is drying.
24 Nov 2010
Justin and his friends Aaliyah, Jamie and Necip, go for lunch at a Cafe. Meanwhile, Mr Tumble opens his new Cafe and we are introduced to the all new Chef Tumble!
25 Nov 2010
Justin joins Niamph, Dan and Ross in the Forest Of Dean to create some Forest Art. Meanwhile, Mr Tumble is in his forest looking for animals from inside his den!
26 Nov 2010
Justin and his friends Ryan, Cameron and Delise are having a lovely day at the park. They try out the rides, get lost in the maze and have a dragon boat race on the lake! Mr Tumble is trying to find a boat of his own to go on a sea adventure, but who will help him find one?
24 Dec 2010
A Christmas Special
It's Christmas and Mr Tumble, Lord Tumble and Grandad Tumble are decorating the Tumble house.
19 September 2011
Mr Tumble bakes some delicious cakes and Chef Tumble wants to have a cooking competition with him... surely Mr Tumble can't win against a French chef? Justin is baking with his friends. He's gone round to their house to make some scrumdiddlyumptious biscuits.
20 September 2011
Justin puts on a show with his friends at their school. They dress up, act out and play along to Five in a Bed. The Tumbles are busy making music as well. Mr Tumble has made a stage and is organising a singing competition between Aunt Polly and Grandad Tumble. They have to choose their favourite nursery rhyme... but who will win?
21 September 2011
Shop for School
It's back to school time and Justin meets a friend to buy a selection of things she will need. Mr Tumble is out and about as well. He wants to go cycling but crashes his pushbike. Luckily Grandad Tumble is there to lend a hand and fix the bike.
22 September 2011
Justin goes to a magical garden with his friends to listen, smell and take a good look around. Mr Tumble plays a looking game - he's playing a game of I Spy and he wants everybody to join in.
23 September 2011
Mr Tumble wants to get to the moon, but he needs a rocket and a space suit. He can build a rocket, but where will he get a space suit from? Maybe the other Tumbles can help? Meanwhile, Justin is off to a space centre with his friend. They go on a journey into space as well.
26 September 2011
Mr Tumble wants to play in the snow. But it's not snowing outside and even Weatherman Tumble doesn't think it's going to snow for a while. Maybe Lord Tumble can help with a bit of magic. Justin has gone to a snow dome with his friends Josh & Elizabeth to play in the snow. It's very cold, so he must wrap up warm.
27 September 2011
Scout Tumble had come to stay. He's very good at camping and map reading and putting up flags, but what will he do when it starts to rain? Maybe Mr Tumble can help. Justin is off to meet a beaver scout and join in with the fun, as well as helping the children earn a badge.
28 September 2011
Justin is off to a pet shop to help the children choose a pet for their school. They look at rabbits, fish and even a lizard. Mr Tumble is off to the shops to buy a bone for his pet dog, Chip, but he is not sure who is going to look after Chip while he's gone. Aunt Polly is happy to help!
29 September 2011
Mr Tumble wants to play in his paddling pool, but it's raining outside, so he decides to play a dressing-up game indoors instead. Justin is playing indoors with his friend as well. But the rain will soon stop and then they can both play outside.
30 September 2011
Mr Tumble has grown so many vegetables that he decides to go to the harbour to sell them. Justin visits his friend in their school garden where they grow lots of different things.
3 October 2011
Mr Tumble is playing with his friend Lord Tumble. But Mr Tumble doesn't like losing and is very rude to Lord Tumble. Meanwhile, Justin has gone to meet two best friends and the three of them have the best day out together.
4 October 2011
Aunt Polly and Grandad Tumble are feeling poorly. It's lucky that Mr Tumble is pretending to be a doctor and is ready to lend a helping hand. Justin is off to the doctors today with his friend David. David is going for a check-up.
5 October 2011
Justin is off to rugby training, he's training with his little friends and the big boys as well. Mr Tumble is looking through a box of all different types of balls. There's a funny shaped one in there - it's Grandad Tumble's old rugby ball.
6 October 2011
Justin has gone to visit his friend to see what she likes to do on a Saturday. The Tumbles are getting together for lunch.
7 October 2011
Lord Tumble is having a fancy dress party, all the Tumbles are invited, Mr. Tumble tries to dress like a king. Justin and his friends get ready for their own carnival party and parade.
Justin and his friends are out Pony Treking in the New Forest. Mr Tumble wants to go out for a ride too but Lord Tumble and Grandad Tumble have other ideas.
1 November 2011
Justin and his friends put on a fashion show at their school. They're making brightly coloured T shirts and beautiful bracelets. Mr Tumble is getting arty as well. He's taking photographs of Aunt Polly and Grandad Tumble.
2 November 2011
Justin and his friends visit the British Wildlife Centre. Mr. Tumble tries to find a big bird in the garden.
3 November 2011
Mr Tumble is busy getting ready for his holiday. He's packed his suitcase, got all the toys ready, he's even packed his spotty swimming trunks. But there's something very important he has forgotten. Justin is going on a trip to the seaside with his friends.
4 November 2011
Justin and his friends help out at the zoo, while Mr Tumble finds out what it's like to be an animal.
7 November 2011
Justin and his friends visit a car museum, while Mr Tumble decides his car needs a makeover.
8 November 2011
Justin visits a farm with his friends to see lots of baby animals. Mr. Tumble tries to run a bakers shop.
9 November 2011
Mr Tumble is poorly, but Aunt Polly is looking after him.
10 November 2011
Justin and his friends go to an outdoor Adventure centre. Mr Tumble is warming up for a competition to find the strongest Tumble.
11 November 2011
Justin and his friends visit a theme park and have fun on the rides. Mr. Tumble wants to ride a boat.
Mr Tumble is moving to his new home in Tumbleton! Justin is in a moving home too - he is with his friend Ethan. Ethan's grandparents have a home on wheels - a motor home! Where will they go for their day out? Where will they park the Motor Home? And what will they see?
23 October 2012
Justin goes to see Victoria, Daisy and Lily Mae in York. They sing and sign in a choir. Justin joins in their practice. They are going to perform in a big concert! Meanwhile, Mr Tumble is busy organising a concert of his own in Tumble Terrace.
24 October 2012
Mr Tumble is painting a picture, but it's not simple! His friends keep moving the things he's painting! Justin, on the other hand, has a lot of fun with his friends making some great paintings - but they're not making them with paint brushes!
25 October 2012
Justin's friends Donald and Sajid are pretending to be police officers. They are really good at using the police radios and they look just like police officers in their big helmets. Mr Tumble is doing some detective work too. He is trying to find out what has happened to Grandad's carrots!
26 October 2012
Lord Tumble's not feeling very well. Luckily, Mr Tumble knows exactly what he needs - a bowl of tasty soup! Meanwhile, Justin and his friends are working very hard in the donkey sanctuary, caring for the donkeys.
29 October 2012
Justin visits a fun gymnastics club in Nantwich, and his friends Zak and Emma show him how to do star shapes on the trampoline and tuck shapes on the rings. Plus there's an obstacle course to race over! Meanwhile Mr Tumble is causing some obstacles of his own as he searches high and low for his skipping rope.
30 October 2012
Mr Tumble has the hiccups because he gobbled his food too quickly. Justin, on the other hand, is taking his time over a lovely meal with his friend Chadani. Plus, Chadani takes him to a very special place - her temple.
31 October 2012
Justin joins the Birches Bears as they prepare for a very exciting showcase. The Birches Bears are a brilliant cheerleading team who sing and shout their support for their school. Aunt Polly and Lord Tumble are also supporters - at a football match in Tumbleton!
1 November 2012
Mr Tumble is trying to find his toy monkey. Justin, on the other hand, takes Evie and Thomas to Fota to see the monkeys.
'Something Special - Favourite Things' comprising the episodes Toys, Music, Colours, Food and What I Like (BBC Active, 2005, ISBN 0-563-51646-1)
'Something Special - Pets and Other Animals' comprising the episodes Pets, A Farm, Gardens, Under the Sea and Jungle Animals (BBC Active, 2006, ISBN 978-0-563-51647-7)
'Something Special - Where I Live' comprising the episodes Where I Live, All About Me, Food, Moving and Family (BBC Active, 2006, ISBN 978-0-563-51641-5)
'Something Special - Hello Mr Tumble' (also titled 'Something Special - Out and About - Hello Mr Tumble) comprising the episodes Airport, Garden Centre, By the Sea, Hospital, Houseboat, Bike Ride and Drive (BBC Worldwide, 2011)
'Something Special - Bumper Boxset' (BBC, 2 Entertain, 2013, ISBN 5-051561-038341)