The Story Makers

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The Story Makers
GenreChildren's
Created byClare Bradley
Tony Reed
Developed byBBC MediaArc
Directed byStephen Cannon
Simon Brown
Clare Farlow
Tony Reed
Helen Church
Brendan McCaul
Sarah Colclough
Justine Hallside
Ros Atille
StarringNick Mercer
Aliex Yuill
Danny John-Jules
Michael Offei
Dystin Johnson
Lauretta Nkwocha
Joe Vera
Paul J. Medford
Tim Jones
Robin Fritz
and others
Narrated byGary Martin
Stephen Cannon
Ailex Yulli
and others
Theme music composerFrancis Haines
Opening themeFrancis Haines
Clare Bradley
Composer(s)Francis Haines
Liz Kitchen
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original language(s)English
No. of series4
No. of episodes247 (List of The Story Makers episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)Annette Williams
Clare Elstow
Producer(s)Clare Bradley
Tony Reed
Camera setupMulti-camera
Running time15 minutes (Series 1) 20 minutes (Series 2-4)
Production company(s)BBC
Release
Original networkCBeebies
Audio formatStereophonic sound
Original release11th February 2002 –
31st May 2004

The Story Makers is an educational children's television programme that was 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, Jackson and Jelly (green and pink puppets who live in the library and hide in the daytime) come out and are joined by a 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 or appear by magic 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 makes 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 Playbook (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 Playbook - the other story varies between each episode.

As dawn begins and the sun rises 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. From Series 2-4, Jelly and Jackson sometimes look at what the kids or the librarian are doing during the credits, and hide to make it look like they are invisible to the humans. This never happened in Series 1.

Characters[edit]

The Wordsworth Family Members[edit]

The main Live Action presenters are the Wordsworths, which all are:

  • Milton Wordsworth - Played by Danny John-Jules (appears in every series except series 2)
  • Byron Wordsworth - Played by Michael Offei (appears in series 2, 3 and 4)
  • Rossetti Wordsworth - Played by Dystin Johnson (appears in series 2, 3 and 4)
  • Shelley Wordsworth - Played by Lauretta Nkwocha (appears in series 2, 3 and 4)
  • Blake Wordsworth - Played by Paul J. Medford (only appears in series 4)
  • Webster Wordsworth - Played by Joe Vera (appears in series 2 ,3 and 4)

In Series 1, Milton Wordsworth was the only live action presenter.

Others[edit]

  • The Librarian (appears at the beginning and end of the programme)
  • Children in the library (appears at the beginning and end of the programme)
  • Playbook children (appears in every series)

The Puppets[edit]

The show also featured 2 puppets, who are:

  • Jackson (voiced by Nick Mercer) - Jackson is pink and looks like a porcupine.
  • Jelly (voiced by Aliex Yulli) - Jelly is green with hair sticking out, she is similar to a bird and is 3 years old.

The puppets have also appeared on CBeebies Springwatch and CBeebies Autumnwatch, Jelly was also a recurring character in Green Balloon Club, another show that aired on CBeebies.

Home media releases[edit]

In 2004, two VHS tapes and DVDs were released by Contender Entertainment Group under license from the BBC. The first volume contained five episodes from the series, and the second release was a "Bumper Special", featuring ten episodes, five on each VHS tape/DVD.

Stories[edit]

All episodes feature a Playbook and Blue Cow story. The other story rotates from the list below:

  • Kevin the Spaceman (appears in every series)
  • Sniff and Wag (appears in every series)
  • Barnacle Rock (appears in series 1, 2 & 3)
  • Jack Sprat and Treacle Cat (only appears in series 1)
  • Tales from Faraway (only appears in series 1)
  • The Poons (only appears in series 1)
  • Super Baby (only appears in series 4)
  • The Three Bears (appears in series 3 & 4)
  • Rainforest Tales (only appears in series 2)

External links[edit]