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Ragdoll Productions is a British television production company that produces children's programmes. It was founded in 1984 by Anne Wood, who had previously made similar programmes for Yorkshire Television and TV-am. Among its most famous productions are Teletubbies, Rosie and Jim, Brum, Tots TV and In the Night Garden.
Ragdoll Productions is owned by Ragdoll Ltd, which in 2006 formed a joint venture with BBC Worldwide, Ragdoll Worldwide, to sell and license the company's programmes outside the United Kingdom. On 16 September 2013, Ragdoll Worldwide was sold to Canadian production company DHX Media for £17.4 million.
The company's slogan 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 and 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 woolly jumper. The show airs on Channel 4 in UK and PBS in the US.
- Playbox — first broadcast 1988, 1 series and 20 episodes. The show is about a dog and a cat who live in a box. Co-produced by Central Television and airs on ITV Network (CITV)
- 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 and airs on ITV Network (CITV)
- Brum — first broadcast in 1991. 6 series, 78 episodes. This show is about a small car that lives in a motor museum, comes to life and goes around helping the inhabitants of the Big Town. It was broadcast For HIT Entertainment. and airs on CBBC, and CBeebies in the UK.
- 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 Tilly, Tom, and Tiny Tot who live in their magic secret Tot house in the middle of the woods with their favourite 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, it aired on CITV in the UK and aired on PBS in the US in 1996.
- Teletubbies — first broadcast in 1997, production of Teletubbies ended in 2001 after 365 episodes but the show was revived to create new episodes. A show about the adventures of the four little creatures, the Teletubbies, Tinky Winky, Dipsy, Laa-Laa and Po who live over the hills called "Teletubbyland" with their blue living vacuum cleaner Noo-Noo. Reruns air on BBC and aired on PBS from 1997 to 2005. (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. It airs on BBC
- Teletubbies Everywhere — first broadcast in 2002. A spin-off series of the Teletubbies about a comedy of the 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 with 104 episodes. It is an exercise programme aimed at 3-6 year-olds, and was broadcast for Cole Entertainment. It airs on ITV in the UK and on PBS in the US.
- Blips — first broadcast 2005. 2 series, 26 episodes. and airs on ITV Network (CITV)
- 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 1-7. 100×30 minutes commissioned by the BBC and shown on CBeebies in the UK and Hub Network and qubo on the US (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 and distributed by BBC Television and CBC (now owned by DHX Media).
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 optometrist's practice named Dr. CP Grey's.
- "Ragdoll puts sales joint venture with BBC Worldwide on the market". The Guardian (London). 29 January 2013. Retrieved 22 March 2014.
- "Teletubbies owner bought by Canadian firm DHX Media". The Guardian (London). 16 September 2013. Retrieved 22 March 2014.