The Story Makers

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The Story Makers
Genre Children's
Created by Clare Bradley
Directed by Stephen Cannon
Tony Reed
Starring Nick Mercer
Aliex Yuill
Danny John-Jules
Michael Offei
Dystin Johnson
Lauretta Nkwocha
Joe Vera
Paul J. Medford
Theme music composer Francis Haines
Opening theme Francis Haines
Clare Bradley
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of series 4
No. of episodes 80
Production
Executive producer(s) Clare Elstow
Producer(s) Clare Bradley
Tony Reed
Camera setup Multi-camera
Running time 15 minutes (Series 1) 20 minutes (Series 2-4)
Release
Original network CBeebies (until March 2009)
Picture format PAL
Audio format Stereophonic sound
Original release 2001 – 2004

The Story Makers was a children's television programme broadcast on the BBC's pre-school digital television network, CBeebies. The Story Makers is set in a children’s library, and encourages literacy and creativity.

The programme[edit]

The programme starts as the library shuts in the evening. At the stroke of midnight, Jelly and Jackson (green and pink puppets who live in the library and hide in the daytime) come out and are joined by a guest presenter, one of the members of the Wordsworth family, who recites "The sun is down, the stars are bright, Story Makers come out at night". The Wordsworths together with Jelly and Jackson are the Story Makers.

Objects found in the library are put into the top of the story machine (transformed from a desktop computer); Jelly, Jackson and the story maker then recite "Imagine, imagine, imagine a story!"; and the story machine produces a book containing a story based on the object. The story in the book is then "read out" (although this is replaced on screen by live action or an animation). The first story is usually a Play Book (live action with small children), and the remaining stories are animated (cartoons, stop-motion animation, or puppets). The characters in the stories are fairly consistent, including Sniff and Wag (two puppet dogs), Blue Cow (a cartoon cow, created by Blue-Zoo), Kevin the Spaceman (puppet), and so on. There is always a Blue Cow story and a Play Book - the third story varies between each episode.

As dawn breaks, the Story Maker takes his or her leave ("Dawn is upon us, the morning is nigh, we've made our stories, so we bid you goodbye") and disappears, Jelly and Jackson hide, and the story machine turns back into a computer, but the books produced overnight remain for the librarian and children to find when the library opens in the morning.

Characters[edit]

The story makers include:

The two puppet characters:

  • Jackson (voiced by Nick Mercer who also provides the voice for Blue Cow) - Jackson is pink and porcupine-like and 5 years old.
  • Jelly (voiced by Aliex Yuill) - green with hair sticking out, Jelly resembles a bird and is 3 years old.

There are many different story types, most of which have an educational nature.

Six Presenters with their own magical powers:

  • Milton Wordsworth - Magic power - wave in the air - Series 1-4 (played by Danny John-Jules)
  • Byron Wordsworth - Magic power - finger click - Series 2-4 (played by Michael Offei)
  • Rossetti Wordsworth - Magic power - pocket - Series 2-4 (played by Dystin Johnson)
  • Shelley Wordsworth - Magic power - magic words - Series 2-4 (played by Lauretta Nkwocha)
  • Blake Wordsworth - Magic power - Hat - Series 4 (played by Paul J. Medford)
  • Webster Wordsworth - Series 3-4 (played by Joe Vera)

The story makers are named after English poets, William Wordsworth, John Milton, Lord Byron, Dante Rossetti (or possibly Christina Rossetti), Percy Bysshe Shelley (or possibly Mary Shelley), William Blake, and John Webster.

In 2007, Jelly and Jackson appeared on a special puppet edition of the Weakest Link with 10 other puppets but were eliminated in the sixth round of play, and did not get a single question incorrect during the first five rounds of the game (during a between-rounds interview, Anne points out that it is because they live in a library), although they weren't the statistical strongest link during those rounds except round 4 where they did get strongest link.

Stories[edit]

  • Blue Cow
  • Playbook
  • Sniff and Wag
  • Barnacle Rock (Series 1-3)
  • Kevin the Spaceman
  • The Three Bears (Series 3-4)
  • Super Baby (Series 4)
  • Rainforest Tales (Series 2)
  • Jack Sprat and Treacle Cat (Series 1)
  • Tales from Faraway (Series 1)
  • The Poons (Series 1)

Home Media Releases[edit]

In 2004, 2 VHS's and DVD's were released by Contender Entertainment Group. The first volume contained 5 episodes from the series, and the second release was a "Bumper Special", featuring 10 episodes, 5 on each VHS/DVD.

External links[edit]