Old Jack's Boat

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Old Jack's Boat
Developed byBBC Television
StarringBernard Cribbins
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original language(s)English
Running time15 minutes
DistributorBBC Television
Original networkCBeebies
Original release21 January 2013 (2013-01-21) –
5 April 2015 (2015-04-05)

Old Jack's Boat is a British pre-school children's television series that stars Bernard Cribbins as Old Jack, the owner of a multi-coloured boat called The Rainbow. In each episode Jack (Cribbins) tells a story to his dog, Salty. The first episode was broadcast on CBeebies at 5.40pm[1] on Monday 21 January 2013.[2]


The series was filmed in Staithes in Yorkshire, and the scenery of the area is heavily featured in the episodes. Bernard Cribbins talking about the location, said “I’ve filmed in a lot of locations throughout my career, but there’s something about the sea air, the beauty and the friendliness in Staithes that makes it a special place to be.”[3]

The first two series each had two stories written by Russell T Davies, with whom Bernard Cribbins had previously worked on Doctor Who. This was the first time Davies had ever written for a pre-school audience.[4] On writing for pre-schoolers Davies said "It’s exciting new territory for me, writing for this age range. But this is the age when your imagination first starts! And when the call came from Bernard, asking me on board, I couldn't refuse - I'd do anything for that man!"[4]


Old Jack's Boat was positively received upon broadcast. Aislinn Kinsella, writing for Best British TV, said that the program was "suitably amusing for a CBeebies show" and that it was "sure to be a hit with the little ones and one or two older folks!"[5] Glen Chapman, writing for website Den of Geek, said of the series: "Well, come on, it’s Bernard Cribbins telling stories? What more could you ask for? The man is a national treasure." The location filming was also praised, with Chapman saying that Staithes "looks every bit the idyllic location".[6]



Episodes of the show usually consist of the theme tune, then a segment (usually a few minutes), featuring Old Jack, Salty the dog and a couple of the characters doing stuff around the village.

Jack and Salty dog then head to the Rainbow, where Jack usually has something to do (usually something to mend), but puts it off to tell the story.

After the story, there is another segment featuring Jack and the characters from earlier to find out if that character was successful in whatever they were meant to accomplish.

Then the instrumental version of the theme tune plays, and Jack and Salty walk off into the distance.


A spin-off titled Old Jack's Boat: Rockpool Tales is about adventures of sea creatures,[7] and another, Salty's Waggy Tales, is about the adventures of Salty the Dog.


  1. ^ 10:17 (23 January 2013). "Staithes showcased in children's TV programme Old Jack's Boat". Whitby Gazette. Retrieved 5 May 2018.
  2. ^ "Bernard Cribbins to star in Old Jack's Boat on CBeebies - BBC News". Bbc.com. Retrieved 5 May 2018.
  3. ^ Karl Hansell (24 January 2014). "Sneak preview: Old Jack's Boat". Whitby Gazette. Retrieved 5 May 2018.
  4. ^ a b Russell T Davies. "New commissions for CBeebies - Media Centre". BBC. Retrieved 5 May 2018.
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 29 November 2014.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ Glen Chapman James Stansfield. "10 great TV shows to enjoy with your kids". Den of Geek. Retrieved 5 May 2018.
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 9 October 2015. Retrieved 7 October 2015.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)

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