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|Industry||Television Production Company|
|Founded||July 26, 1984|
|Headquarters||Timothy's Bridge Rd, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, UK|
|Anne Wood, Andrew Davenport|
Ragdoll Productions is a British television production company located in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, 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, Boohbah, Tots TV, In the Night Garden, Pob's Programme, The Adventures of Abney & Teal, and Twirlywoos.
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 (or USD$24,457,135.58). DHX Media owns the rights to all the Ragdoll programming and the shows are no longer connected to the company with the exception of Pob's Programme. Despite Ragdoll Worldwide being sold, Ragdoll Productions themselves remain as an independent company and still continue to make shows to this day.
The following are some of Ragdoll's productions before the company was founded, 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 Book Tower - first broadcast in 1979, hosted by Tom Baker and Stephen Moore.
- 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.
- Rub-A-Tub-Dub - first broadcast in 1983.
All of the following shows (except Pob's Programme and Twirlywoos) are no longer connected to Ragdoll and are now owned by DHX Media.
- 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, 6 series and 24 episodes. The show is about a dog and a cat who live in a box. Co-produced by Central Television and aired on the ITV Network (CITV).
- 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 aired on the ITV Network (CITV) in the UK.
- Brum — first broadcast in 1991. 6 series, 78 episodes. The show is about a small car that lives in a motor museum that comes to life and goes around helping the inhabitants of the Big Town. It was broadcast for HiT Entertainment, and aired on CBBC, and later CBeebies, in the UK.
- Open a Door — first broadcast in 1992 on CITV. An international project producing 5-minute children's films from different countries around the world without words. It moved to CBBC in 2000 and was repeated until 2007 on CBeebies.
- 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. The show earned two BAFTA awards. Co-produced by Central Television, it aired on CITV in the UK originally but moved to CBeebies in 2004. It premiered on PBS in the US in 1996.
- Teletubbies: (Original series) — first broadcast in 1997, production of Teletubbies ended in 2001 after 365 episodes but the show has been revived since November 2015. 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 1998 to 2008.
- 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 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. The show aired on CBeebies.
- Boohbah - first broadcast in 2003, production ended in 2006 with 104 episodes. It is an exercise programme aimed at 3-6 year-olds, and was broadcast for Cole Entertainment. It aired on ITV in the UK and on PBS in the US.
- Blips — first broadcast in 2005, and airs on the ITV Network (CITV).
- What Makes Me Happy - a short film that was first broadcast in 2005 for Channel 5. This film 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 in the US.
- 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.
- 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.
- Twirlywoos - first broadcast in 2015, a 50x11 minute program about 4 bird-like creatures who seek on adventures and fun. The show is broadcast on CBeebies. This is the first Ragdoll show made after the DHX Media takeover of Ragdoll Worldwide. (DHX Media itself co-owns the show.)
The Ragdoll Shop
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. The shop also sold toys relating to Boohbah from 2004 - 2005. In 2005, the shop was closed permanently, and became an optometrist's practice named Dr. CP Grey's. The picture of Rosie and Jim waving can still be seen in the black window at the top of the building.
- "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.