The Story Makers
|The Story Makers|
|Created by||Clare Bradley|
|Developed by||BBC MediaArc|
|Directed by||Stephen Cannon|
Paul J. Medford
|Narrated by||Gary Martin|
|Theme music composer||Francis Haines|
|Opening theme||Francis Haines|
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of series||4|
|No. of episodes||80|
|Executive producer(s)||Clare Elstow|
|Running time||15 minutes (Series 1) 20 minutes (Series 2-4)|
|Audio format||Stereophonic sound|
|Original release||2002 – 2004|
The Story Makers was an educational 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 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 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 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 usually a Blue Cow story and a Play Book - the other 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. 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.
The main Live Action presenters are the Wordsworths, which all are:
- Milton Wordsworth - Danny John-Jules (appears in every series)
- Byron Wordsworth - Michael Offei (appears in series 2, 3 and 4)
- Rossetti Wordsworth - Dystin Johnson (appears in series 2, 3 and 4)
- Shelley Wordsworth - Lauretta Nchwoka (appears in series 2, 3 and 4)
- Blake Wordsworth - Paul J. Medford (only appears in series 4)
- Webster Wordsworth - Joe Vera (appears in series 2, 3 and 4)
In Series 1, Milton Wordsworth was the only live action presenter, with the others joining in series 2, 3 and 4.
The show also featured 2 puppets, who are:
- Jackson (voiced by Nick Mercer) - Jackson is pink and porcupine-like and 5 years old.
- Jelly (voiced by Aliex Yuill) - Jelly is green with hair sticking out, she resembles a bird and is 3 years old.
The puppets have also appeared on CBeebies Springwatch and CBeebies Autumnwatch, and also on The Weakest Link Puppet special. Jelly was also a recurring character in Green Balloon Club, another show that aired on CBeebies.
Home media releases
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.
Most episodes features 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 and 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 and 4)
- Rainforest Tales (only appears in series 2)