Space Pirates (series)

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Space Pirates
Space Pirates promotional poster
Directed by Bridget Caldwell
Starring Luke Toulson
Kirsty Rider
Connor Panayi
Adam Carter
Dominic Byrne
No. of series 1
No. of episodes 30
Producer(s) Tony Reed
Running time 28 mins
Original network CBeebies
Original release 3 November 2007 – 22 March 2008
External links

Space Pirates is a British children's television series originally shown on CBeebies. It is a mixture of live action and animation, set aboard a space ship which orbits Earth. It stars Luke Toulson as Captain DJ, and features the voice of Radio X (United Kingdom) newsreader Dominic Byrne as an alien news/weather/travel reporter called Zorst. There are 30 episodes which were first shown from 3 November 2007 until 22 March 2008.


Space Pirates was commissioned for the BBC's CBeebies channel. The show is primarily aimed at children aged from four to six years old, although the show is designed to reach all ages and "bring the whole family together to explore a diverse range of musical performances."[1] According to the BBC, for six weeks from 9 November 2007, viewers could press the red button on their TV remote controls and choose which of the three songs they wanted to listen to at the end of the show.[1] The show has also featured on the CBeebies slot on BBC Radio 7.[1]

In 2008, the episode "Music to Paint to" was nominated for a Banff World Television Award.[2] The show was also nominated for Best Pre-School Live Action Series at the 2008 BAFTA Children's Awards.[3]


The space ship Guisto is led by Captain DJ, who is very vain and stupid. It orbits planet Earth searching for music for the radio show, Guisto Radio. The tenuous storyline in each episode usually involves two space-wise kids, Honk and Tonk, who are played by children. They trick Captain DJ and/or Lippy by selling him something worthless for lots of doubloons or junk food. Lippy is a cheeky microphone who often makes fun of Captain DJ. Captain DJ's real name is occasionally revealed (it is "Leslie"). Also featured is a newsreader/weather forecaster/traffic reporter, Zorst, who is an alien barnacle who clings to the stern of the ship (near the exhaust, hence his name). He always ends his reports with bad jokes. There are three musical acts per episode, one performed live on set (or specially recorded), one pop-video, and one cover song by puppet rats called The Jingles - Windy, Stringy and Brassy. A group of children on Earth, the Pirate Posse, get to vote on which song was the best and who they want to hear again, which plays out the show.


The theme tune to the series, written by Darren Loveday and former Busted keyboardist Chris Banks, was released as a single available for download on iTunes, Chris Moyles popularised the song by playing it on his radio show, hoping to get it into the UK charts and beat The X Factor Christmas single ("When You Believe" by Leon Jackson). The result of Moyles' campaign was that the song completely failed to have any impact on the UK singles chart,[4] although the song did spend eleven weeks at position number one on the iTunes Children's Chart.[5] Moyles later played a mashup of the song that mixed it with the theme tune from Ghostbusters, the irony being that the mashup was actually created by Chris Banks himself.

Acts which appear on the show include: McFly, The Cheeky Girls, Jamelia, The Drifters, The Puppini Sisters, Julie Felix, the London Community Gospel Choir, and The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain.


The puppets in the show, including Lippy and the three Jingles, were designed and created by Yvonne Stone and Sacha Choat.


# Title Original airdate
1.1 "Music to Drum Along To" 3 November 2007 (2007-11-03)

Captain DJ and crew have a noisy mission which doesn't help DJ's headache. It does, however, help Honk and Tonk disguise the sound of their doubloon-making contraption.
Video: KT Tunstall - Black Horse and the Cherry Tree
Jingles: Wipe Out ("originally by The Ventures")

Studio Guest: Kuljit Bhamra playing the Tabla drums (Posse Pick)
1.2 "Music for Playtime" 10 November 2007 (2007-11-10)

Honk and Tonk are too busy trying to sell their latest cargo of odd shoes, so Captain DJ beams aboard some very special guests to help.
Studio Guest: McFly - All About You (Posse Pick)
Recorded: Backbeat Percussion Quartet from the UK

Jingles: The Beach Boys' Fun, Fun, Fun
1.3 "Music to Paint to" 17 November 2007 (2007-11-17)

The Pirate Posse's mission inspires Captain DJ to do a spot of painting. Honk and Tonk's latest doubloon-making scheme means that Captain DJ ends up with more than just a spot of paint on him, and a nasty taste in his mouth.
Video: R.E.M. - Shiny Happy People
Jingles: The Rolling Stones' She's a Rainbow

Recorded: Blue Man Group, recorded in the UK (Posse Pick)
1.4 "Music that Makes Me Laugh" 24 November 2007 (2007-11-24)

Up to their doubloon making schemes, Honk and Tonk try and sell Captain DJ his own cargo.
Video: Tony Christie featuring Peter Kay - Is This the Way to Amarillo (Posse Pick)
Jingles: Charles Penrose's The Laughing Policeman

Studio Guest: The Cheeky Girls "and their cheeky niece" - Farmyard Hokey Cokey
1.5 "Music to Listen to On a Journey" 1 December 2007 (2007-12-01)

The pirate posse are going on a long journey and want some music to while the time away. Captain DJ (or Leslie) receives a call from his "friend" Steve - the man-in-the-moon, who is obsessed with cheese, and wants DJ to make some for him. He sets Honk and Tonk the task to stop them causing trouble. Unfortunately, they suss this out and decide to pay him back by being more troublesome than usual- they trick Lippy into buying the cheese for 10 doubloons and wearing it on his head, claiming it will make people do everything he says. The plan backfires - Captain DJ rescues Lippy, then punishes Honk and Tonk by sending them on the most boring holiday ever - a whole weekend of cheese-related activities with Steve.
Video: Bob Sinclair - World, Hold On (Children of the Sky)
Studio Guest: The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain - I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles) (Posse Pick)

Jingles: Frank Sinatra's Come Fly with Me
1.6 "Music for a Trip to Space" 8 December 2007 (2007-12-08)

The pirate posse are preparing for a trip to space, and ask Captain DJ to find them some music to listen to on the trip. Honk and Tonk attempt to take over control of the Gusto Radio Show by disguising as repairmen and sabotaging the ship, persuading Lippy to go along with their plan by bribing him with candy. But Captain DJ discovers their plan just in time to save his position.
Video: The Police - Walking on the Moon (Posse Pick)
Jingles: Jamiroquai's Cosmic Girl

Studio Guest: Julie Felix (and Bernard O'Neill) - Space Girl
1.7 "Music that Makes Me Feel Special" 15 December 2007 (2007-12-15)

Lippy is aghast as Captain DJ is being even more big-headed than usual. It's thanks to his new book, From Poop Deck to Anchorman: How to Get Ahead in Radio, which teaches him to be super-confident at all times.
Video: Bel's Boys - Today's The Day
Jingles: U2's Sweetest Thing

Studio Guest: Jamelia - Superstar (Posse Pick)
1.8 "Music to Listen to on Holiday" 17 December 2007 (2007-12-17)

Whilst surfing the sound waves for great songs to listen to on holiday, Captain DJ still finds time to fall for another of Honk and Tonk's money-making schemes.
Jingles: Madonna's Holiday (Posse Pick)
Studio Guest: Steve Homes playing the Spanish guitar

Video: Vengaboys - We Like to Party
1.9 "Music to Dress up to" 18 December 2007 (2007-12-18)

Tonk's new gold grabber nets him and Honk a lot of gold which Captain DJ very quickly nabs for himself. Honk and Tonk speedily hatch a plan to get their gold back and make Captain DJ look ridiculous at the same time.
Jingles: The Kinks' Dedicated Follower of Fashion
Video: Nelly Furtado - Powerless (Say What You Want)

Recorded: Chinese Lion dance (Posse Pick)
1.10 "Music for When We Feel Bored" 19 December 2007 (2007-12-19)

Everyone thinks Captain DJ is boring especially as he won't buy one of Honk and Tonk's honking hats.
Video: Junior Senior - Move Your Feet
Jingles: Black Lace's Agadoo

Studio Guest: Mixed Up (junk percussion band) (Posse Pick)
1.11 "Music for the Countryside" 20 December 2007 (2007-12-20)

Captain DJ's embarrassing phobia of wellington boots is no longer a secret thanks to the broadcasting power of his talkative microphone, Lippy. Honk and Tonk pretend to help him, but is it just a money making scheme?
Video: Berri - Sunshine after the Rain
Recorded: Indigenous Australian Didgeridoo music

Jingles: Eva Cassidy's Fields of Gold (Posse Pick)
1.12 "Music to Surprise Me" 21 December 2007 (2007-12-21)

It's Captain DJ's birthday and his annual tradition of a little model-making is put in jeopardy by all the surprises the crew have in store for him.
Jingles: Gilbert and Sullivan's With cat-like tread (from The Pirates of Penzance)
Video: Björk - It's Oh So Quiet

Studio Guest: Stringfever (String quartet) (Posse Pick)
1.13 "Music to Listen to with My Family" 22 December 2007 (2007-12-22)

Captain DJ (whose real name is Leslie), is asked by the pirate posse to find some music for them to play at a family get-together. Captain DJ's mum phones to say that his parents are coming to visit, which causes him to panic. Honk and Tonk see the opportunity to sell some space-cakes to him for a whopping 200 doubloons - he is so desperate he pays. He has wasted his money - his mum phones to cancel at the last minute.
Video: Spice Girls - Mama
Studio Guest: The Drifters - Saturday Night at the Movies

Jingles: Sister Sledge's We are Family (Posse Pick)
1.14 "Music Not to Sing to" 24 December 2007 (2007-12-24)

The crew have been enjoying Pirate Karaoke Day, and the Pirate Posse's mission to find music not to sing to is a welcome relief for their sore throats.
Video: Frankie Knuckles - The Whistle Song
Jingles: Booker T. & the M.G.'s Green Onions (Posse Pick)

Studio Guest: "Marvel" (human beatbox)
1.15 "Music to Cheer Me Up" 26 December 2007 (2007-12-26)

Captain DJ wants the show to be a Blues special but no one wants to hear sad songs. Even putting his guitar in the bin doesn't stop him from singing the Blues, but the Pirate Posse come to the rescue by requesting songs that'll cheer everyone up.
Video: Take That - Shine
Jingles: The Monkees' Daydream Believer

Studio Guest: The Puppini Sisters - Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy (Posse Pick)
1.16 "Music to Explore with" 27 December 2007 (2007-12-27)

Captain DJ sends the crew on a treasure hunt looking for the lost treasure of Mount Tipadelawayo, but Honk and Tonk find it hard to hide their disappointment when they find out what the treasure is.
Recorded: Mongolian music (the "Hanggai band")
Jingles: The Lion Sleeps Tonight

Video: Aqua - Doctor Jones (Posse Pick)
1.17 "Music to Party to" 28 December 2007 (2007-12-28)

It's all hands on deck to find great songs to party to, and Captain DJ is in far too good a mood to be interested in Honk and Tonk's latest money-making scheme. He can't see why anyone would want to buy pants that make you feel angry. The not-so-Jolly Rogers can, however.
Video: S Club 7 - Don't Stop Movin'
Recorded: Drumming from the Liverpool Samba School (Posse Pick)

Jingles: Kool & the Gang's Celebration
1.18 "Music to Listen to with a Group of People" 29 December 2007 (2007-12-29)

With everyone wearing headphones, Captain DJ struggles to command the ship more so than ever.
Video: Dario G - Carnaval De Paris
Studio Guest: London Community Gospel Choir - This Little Light of Mine (Posse Pick)

Jingles: Auld Lang Syne
1.19 "Music to Jump Around To" 5 January 2008 (2008-01-05)

Finding great tunes to jump to helps Captain DJ and company deal with an infestation of space fleas. Honk has a little secret which has them heading to Papua New Guinea, where they find unusual music.
Video: Lolly - Viva La Radio
Jingles: Van Halen's Jump

Recorded: Traditional sing-sing music from Papua New Guinea (Posse Pick)
1.20 "Music to Go to Sleep To" 12 January 2008 (2008-01-12)

Captain DJ is very sleepy and not really up to anything, he's even too sleepy to look for music to go to sleep to for the Pirate Posse. Luckily, Honk and Tonk have the perfect - if a little smelly - sleepy cure.
Video: Jason Donovan - Any Dream Will Do
Jingles: Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata (Posse Pick)

Recorded: "Netsai" playing the Mbira
1.21 "Music to Dance to" 19 January 2008 (2008-01-19)

Honk and Tonk manage to trick Captain DJ into having a makeover live on air.
Video: Scissor Sisters - I Don't Feel Like Dancin'
Recorded: Riverdance

Jingles: DJ Casper's The Cha Cha Slide (Posse Pick)
1.22 "Music to Warm Me Up" 26 January 2008 (2008-01-26)

It's very hot on board today thanks to an infestation of woodworm. Captain DJ meets his biggest fan, who proves to be more useful than he'd first thought.
Video: The Polyphonic Spree - Light and Day / Reach For the Sun
Studio Guest: The Ebony Steelband (Posse Pick)

Jingles: Arrow's Hot Hot Hot
1.23 "Music to Count to" 2 February 2008 (2008-02-02)

Captain DJ is suffering from dreams about green monsters. Honk and Tonk use this to their advantage - they disguise as the green monsters and demand a lot of privileges for Honk and Tonk. The gullible captain is fooled. Unfortunately after he has been humiliated by them, Lippy tells him that the monsters were really Honk and Tonk. He decides to give them a taste of their own medicine by making them dress in sheep outfits and run round his bed, so he can count them and fall asleep.
Jingles: The Jackson 5's ABC (Posse Pick)
Video: Steps - 5,6,7,8

Recorded: Grenadiers' Marching Band
1.24 "Music to Spin Around to" 9 February 2008 (2008-02-09)

The crew are in a spinning mood and ready for some hula-hooping. This is great news for the Pirate Posse, who want great music to spin around to. Captain DJ, though, is not so keen, as he is already feeling giddy.
Video: Ronan Keating - Life Is a Rollercoaster
Recorded: Ballroom dancing from Blackpool (Posse Pick)

Jingles: Twist and Shout ("made famous by The Beatles")
1.25 "Music to Sing to" 16 February 2008 (2008-02-16)

The crew are in a singing mood, but that's not so good for Honk who has lost her voice. Tonk is able to help when he finds a recipe for "the silent treatment", and Honk is soon back to her normal noisy self.
Video: Village People - Y.M.C.A.
Jingles: The Carpenters' Sing (Posse Pick)

Recorded: Traditional song from South Africa
1.26 "Music to Splash Around to" 23 February 2008 (2008-02-23)

The posse want some songs to listen to while they play in water. Captain DJ discovers some rubber rings and flippers and tries them out, but they are Honk and Tonk's, and he is forced to buy them because he has tried them. The Jingles contribution to the show is a disaster, when all the talk of water makes Windy desperate for the toilet.
Jingles: Handel's Water Music
Video: Christina Aguilera - Car Wash

Studio Guest: Alasdair Malloy - I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles (on his glass harmonica) (Posse Pick)
1.27 "Music to Relax to" 1 March 2008 (2008-03-01)

Honk and Tonk make Captain DJ some special "relaxing" tea, but it has the opposite effect.
Video: Enya - Orinoco Flow
Recorded: Tibetan Buddhist chanting

Jingles: Otis Redding's (Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay (Posse Pick)
1.28 "Music for a Sunny Day" 8 March 2008 (2008-03-08)

Captain DJ's sunglasses may not be as cool as he thinks as he finds it hard to see anything.
Jingles: Katrina and the Waves' Walking on Sunshine
Recorded: "Bill Bill's bamboo band" from Papua New Guinea (Posse Pick)

Video: DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince - Summertime
1.29 "Music to Tidy My Room with" 15 March 2008 (2008-03-15)

The posse have to tidy their room, so they want some music to make it less tedious. Captain DJ disguises himself as his formidable grandma, Granny Whitebeard, in order to get some work out of Honk and Tonk. His plan backfires when he "pops to the little pirate room" (i.e. goes to the loo), and the real Granny Whitebeard phones. Honk and Tonk get their revenge by making Captain DJ change costume several times in swift succession, and then making him dress as a maid and clean the ship himself.
Video: Shakin' Stevens - This Ole House (Posse Pick)
Studio Guest: "Mandy and Ciaran" playing the spoons

Jingles: Fairground Attraction's Perfect
1.30 "Music that Makes Me Want to Shout" 22 March 2008 (2008-03-22)

The Captain is in such a 'shouty' mood that he loses his voice. Luckily Honk and Tonk's latest money making scheme, noisy beards, comes to the rescue.
Video: James Brown - I Got You (I Feel Good)
Recorded: Māori Haka from New Zealand

Jingles: Lulu's Shout (Posse Pick)


External links[edit]