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Ragdoll Productions (or Ragdoll Ltd) is a British-American and Canadian-American television production company that produces children's television shows. It was founded in 1984 by Anne Wood, who later devised many of their television series, seen (in the case of Teletubbies) in 111 countries and translated into 41 languages.
Before 1984, Ragdoll's founder Anne Wood made children's programmes for Yorkshire Television (which was the name before the rebrand to ITV Yorkshire) and TV-am. Ragdoll Ltd is a privately owned family company founded in 1984 by Anne Wood. In 2006 Ragdoll and BBC Worldwide formed a joint venture, Ragdoll Worldwide and has since dropped the original "Productions Ltd" label in order to manage and exploit Ragdoll programming. This division owned the rights to Ragdoll shows such as Teletubbies and In the Night Garden. Ragdoll Worldwide was sold to DHX Media on 17 September 2013 and most of their shows went with it. The slogan for the company is "Works for children. Ragdoll is currently owned by BBC it was formerly owned by Hit Entertainment (Previously known as Hit Communications PLC).
Pre Ragdoll Productions
The following are some of Ragdoll's productions, accompanied by a brief description and vital statistics:
- Puzzle Party - first broadcast in 1965 hosted by Gyles Brandreth featuring characters Gnigel and Gnu the show was one of Anne Wood's earliest TV shows for BBC.
- Ragdolly Anna - first broadcast in 1979 based on the children's books by Jean Kenward.
- The Ark Stories - first broadcast in 1981.
- Roland Rat - first broadcast in 1983.
- Pob's Programme — first broadcast in 1985, 5 series, 82 episodes. The company's first official production featuring Pob, who has large ears and a woolly jumper.
- Playbox — first broadcast 1988, 1 series, 20 episodes. About a dog & a cat who live in a box.
- Storytime — first broadcast in 1989 with BBC Education.
- Boom — first broadcast in 1990 with wheelchair user Andrew Miller.
- Ruba-dub-tub - first broadcast in ???.
- Rosie and Jim — first broadcast in 1990, 8 series, 175 episodes. Children's comedy featuring two mischievous ragdolls who magically come to life when the narrowboat owner is away.
- Brum — first broadcast in 1991. 6 series, 78 episodes. About a small car that lives in a motor museum comes to life and goes around helping the inhabitants of the nearby town. seen on BBC One, BBC Two and CBeebies and was broadcast For HIT Entertainment.
- Open a Door — first broadcast 1992. An international project producing 5-minute children's films.
- Tots TV — first broadcast in 1993, 8 series, 276 episodes. The adventures of puppets Tilly, Tom, and Tiny where they live in their magical house in the woods with their friend Donkey and unbeknown to the Tots, Furryboo, a small dog-like puppet. Tilly speaks French (Spanish in the American broadcast, and English in the French broadcast), thus introducing children to a second language, Earned Ragdoll two BAFTA awards.
- Teletubbies — first broadcast in 1996, production ended in 2002 after 365 episodes. A show about the adventures of four characters, the Teletubbies, Tinky Winky, Dipsy, Laa-Laa and Po where they live over the hills called "Teletubbyland". (now owned by DHX Media).
- Badjelly the Witch - premiered 2000 a film based on the book by the late Spike Milligan.
- Teletubbies Everywhere — first broadcast in 2002. A Spin-Off Series of the Teletubbies (now owned by DHX Media).
- Boohbah - first broadcast in 2003 104 episodes an exercise programme aimed at 3-6 year-olds
- Blips — first broadcast 2005. 2 series, 26 episodes.
- What Makes Me Happy — A short Film that was first broadcast in 2005 for Channel 5. This film was won numerous Prizes.
- In the Night Garden — first broadcast in 2007, intended for children aged 1-4. 100×30 minutes commissioned by the BBC and shown on CBeebies (now owned by DHX Media).
- Tronji — first broadcast in 2009, is aimed at children aged 6-8. 30×30 minutes commissioned by the BBC and shown on CBBC
- Dipdap — first broadcast in 2010, a 52×3 minute programme about a drawn character on a drawn line and shown on CBeebies (now owned by DHX Media).
- The Adventures of Abney & Teal — first broadcast in 2011, a 52×11 minute programme about two friends and shown on CBeebies (now owned by DHX Media).
- Untitled Project — A new programme that was announced on Ragdoll's website and is due to premiere in 2015. The new show does not have a name yet.
The Ragdoll Shop in Stratford-upon-Avon in Warwickshire was a relatively small store which stocked a range of merchandise relating to Ragdoll's television series of 4 shows including Teletubbies, Rosie and Jim, Tots TV and Brum plus fun activities for the children. In 2005, the shop was closed permanently. The Store became an optimist centre named Dr. CP Grey's.