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Ragdoll TV (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".
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.
- 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 wooly jumper.
- Playbox — first broadcast 1988, 1 series, 20 episodes. About a dog & a cat who live in a box. co-produced by Central Television
- 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. co-produced by Central Television
- 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. 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 Tots Tilly, Tom, and Tiny who live in their magic secret Tot house in the middle of the woods with their friend and pet 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. co-produced by Central Television
- Teletubbies — first broadcast in 1997, production of Teletubbies ended in 2001 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. in association with Norma Fames Management.
- Teletubbies Everywhere — first broadcast in 2002. A Spin-Off Series of the Teletubbies of a comedy of first concepts - numbers, colours and shapes. Just like Open a Door it too shows international films of children from around the world, speaking their own language. (now owned by DHX Media).
- Boohbah - first broadcast in 2003, production ended in 2005 104 episodes an exercise programme aimed at 3-6 year-olds, and was broadcast for Cole Entertainment
- 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 for 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 (the town of William Shakespeare's birth) 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.