Tracy Beaker Returns

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For the previous series, see The Story of Tracy Beaker (TV series).
Tracy Beaker Returns
Tracy Beaker Returns Title Card.png
Series intertitle
Genre Children
Created by Jacqueline Wilson, and Tracy Beaker Productions Ltd
Starring Current Cast
Country of origin United Kingdom
No. of series 3
No. of episodes 39 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s) Josephine Ward
Producer(s) Gina Cronk
Running time 28 minutes
Original channel CBBC
BBC HD (2013)
Picture format 576i
Original release 8 January 2010 (2010-01-08) – 23 March 2012 (2012-03-23)
Preceded by The Story of Tracy Beaker
Followed by The Dumping Ground[1]
Related shows Tracy Beaker Survival Files (2011–12)
External links

Tracy Beaker Returns is a BAFTA-winning British children's television series, which premiered on 8 January 2010 on CBBC, CBBC HD and BBC HD (2013). Based upon the novels by Jacqueline Wilson, it is the spin-off series to The Story of Tracy Beaker. The series stars Dani Harmer as protagonist Tracy Beaker. The third and final series ended on 23 March 2012, a spin-off entitled The Dumping Ground started airing on 4 January 2013.[1]


When Author Tracy Beaker is arrested for using her Foster Mother, Cam's credit card to publish her autobiography, Tracy seeks refuge at the Dumping Ground, a care home where she used to live as a child. She meets the children who are intrigued by her and her story. Wanting to pay Cam back, Tracy asks The Manager, Mike for a job. As Mike is short-staffed, he agrees to hire her as an assistant care worker since she knows so much about life in care. Tracy then uses her background as a former child in care to become fully involved in the lives of those of whom she is now in charge.

Series synopsis[edit]

Series 1[edit]

Tracy struggles to prove herself as an efficient and effective assistant care worker at Elmtree House, while trying to repair her relationship with her adoptive mother. Tracy's first days at The 'Dumping Ground' prove challenging for her, the residents, and the current care workers. She also comes to terms with the Kettle Sisters - Lily, Rosie and Poppy - who all have wild imaginations; and the Taylor siblings, Johnny and Tee. Both Lily and Johnny are extremely over-protective of their siblings and get frustrated when people interfere. Tracy allows her concerns over her own life to take priority over the residents of the Dumping Ground and resigns from her job, but is later re-hired. She bonds with the children in her care, ultimately deciding to turn down a position which she was offered as a full-time reporter. Tracy realises that if she were to take on the new role, she would miss the children too much.

Series 2[edit]

The council has threatened to close the 'Dumping Ground', leading Tracy to hold a protest on the roof. Lily falls, sustaining serious injuries, and Cam decides to foster Lily while she recovers. Tracy resents Cam and Lily's relationship, but eventually decides that she would like to act as a proper and caring older sister for Lily.

New children arrive throughout the series, including the intimidating Elektra. Others return, such as Johnny and Tee Taylor. Lily meets her father, who has a restraining order preventing him from having contact with her.

Tracy desires to be more independent, including buying her own car, but also feels lonely and isolated. At the end of the series, Lily returns to the 'Dumping Ground' for respite care, and Cam travels to New York for a work contract.

Series 3[edit]

Burnywood, another care home, has burned down and its kids now need to stay at the Elmtree house on a temporary basis, which causes immediate friction. Dennis Stockle, a care worker from Burnywood, puts himself in charge of running the care home, instituting draconian new rules. Eventually, it is learned that Lizanne, one of the Burnywood kids, caused the fire when she accidentally forget to turn off her hair straighteners. Dennis resigns after this as Mike has forced him to write his letter of resignation on finding out he caused a fire in the Elmtree attic-when he was smoking in the attic.

Among the children, Liam meets his brother, a police officer, and goes to live with him; Lily's father makes an effort to reclaim his daughters; and Sapphire moves out on her own, which proves temporary. Mike has also been offered an MBE and goes and meets the Queen with Gus, Tracy and Harry. There is a new arrival at the Dumping Ground called Jody Jackson which doesn't start off so well. By the end of the series, Tracy has become a qualified care worker, and the residents throw her a goodbye party when she decides to leave but Tracy is feeling pushed away, as Mike is really happy about the new replacement, Melanie. Tracy tries and helps Sapphire to get back into her flat, but is trespassing as the council have sold the land. Mike then finds them, and Tracy gets angry and slams the door, and the roof collapses on Mike and nearly kills him. Mike is the last person Tracy says goodbye to, after 10 years of knowing him as her care worker.

Cast and characters[edit]

Main characters[edit]

Character Actor Duration
Tracy Beaker Dani Harmer Series 1-3
Liam O'Donovan Richard Wisker
Mike Milligan Connor Byrne
Carmen Howle Amy-Leigh Hickman
Sapphire Fox Saffron Coomber
Lily Kettle Jessie Williams
Johnny Taylor Joe Maw
Tee Taylor Mia Mckenna-Bruce
Gus Carmichael Noah Marullo
Harry Jones Philip Graham Scott
Frank Mathews Christopher-John Slater
Gina Conway Kay Purcell
Toby Coleman John Bell Series 1-2
Mandy 'Elektra' Perkins Jessica Revell Series 2-3
Tyler Lewis Miles Butler-Hughton Series 3
Rick Barber Daniel Pearson
Jody Jackson Kia Pegg

Guest and recurring characters[edit]

Character Actor Duration
Riff Fox Jordan Hill Series 1
Terrie Tracy Ann Oberman
Seth Ashley Taylor-Rhys Series 2-3
Lizanne Lauren Mote Series 3
Kitty Eleni Foskett Series 3
Dennis Stockle James Gaddas Series 3
Steve Kettle Ben Cartwright Series 2-3
Shadow Connie Series 3
Matt Perry Chris Robson Series 1-3
Cam Lawson Lisa Coleman
Rob Neil Armstrong
Christie Perry Vicky Hall
Poppy Kettle Katie Anderson
Rosie Kettle Millie Redfearn
Claudia Colling
Justine Littlewood Montanna Thompson Series 3


Episode ratings from BARB.[2]

Series 1[edit]

Episode No. Airdate Total Viewers CBBC Weekly Ranking
1 8 January 2010 8.28,000 1
3 15 January 2010 6.99,000 1
4 22 January 2010 6.54,000 1
5 29 January 2010 1.94,000 1
6 5 February 2010 2.85,000 1
7 12 February 2010 3.10,000 1
8 19 February 2010 23.2,000 1
9 26 February 2010 1.23,000 1
10 5 March 2010 3.03,000 1
11 12 March 2010 4.12,000 1
12 19 March 2010 4.57,000 1
13 26 March 2010 6.24,000 1

Series 2[edit]

Episode No. Airdate Total Viewers CBBC Weekly Ranking
1 7 January 2011 348,000 1
3 14 January 2011 426,000 1
4 21 January 2011 374,000 1
5 28 January 2011 382,000 1
6 4 February 2011 198,000 1
7 11 February 2011 267,000 1
8 18 February 2011 383,000 1
9 25 February 2011 223,000 1
10 4 March 2011 311,000 1
11 11 March 2011 196,000 1
12 18 March 2011 263,000 1
13 25 March 2011 453,000 1

Series 3[edit]

Episode No. Airdate Total Viewers CBBC Weekly Ranking
1 6 January 2012 456,000 1
3 13 January 2012 474,000 1
4 20 January 2012 256,000 1
5 27 January 2012 348,000 1
6 3 February 2012 121,000 1
7 10 February 2012 204,000 1
8 17 February 2012 296,000 1
9 24 February 2012 331,000 1
10 2 March 2012 248,000 1
11 9 March 2012 108,000 1
12 16 March 2012 431,000 1
13 23 March 2012 659,000 1

Development and production[edit]

In March 2009, the BBC announced the new 13-part series under the working title Beaker's Back!.[3] The series was filmed in the old La Sagesse school in Jesmond, Newcastle upon Tyne in the summer of 2009, and directed by Neasa Hardiman, Craig Lines and Michael Davies.[4]

In February 2010, it was announced that Tracy Beaker Returns would be renewed for a second series to air in 2011.[5] Filming took place throughout summer and autumn of 2010 and premiered on 7 January 2011.

It was announced on 12 March 2011 that a third series has been commissioned to be filmed entirely in the North East.[6] The third series later premiered on 6 January 2012.

A spin-off series has been commissioned by the CBBC, titled The Dumping Ground and started airing on 4 January 2013.[1]

Awards and nominations[edit]

It won Children's BAFTA on 28 November 2010 for best drama. On the same night, Dani Harmer and Richard Wisker received nominations in the performer category.[7] It also won a Royal Television Award in 2011, in the Children's Drama Category.

Ceremony Award Nominee Result
2010 Children's BAFTA Awards] BAFTA Kids' Vote Television Tracy Beaker Returns Nominated
2010 Children's BAFTA Awards Children's Drama Tracy Beaker Returns Won
2010 Children's BAFTA Awards Children's Performer Dani Harmer Nominated
2010 Children's BAFTA Awards Children's Performer Richard Wisker Nominated
2011 Children's BAFTA Awards BAFTA Kids' Vote Television Tracy Beaker Returns Nominated
2011 Royal Television Awards Children's Drama Tracy Beaker Returns Won
2012 Children's BAFTA Awards BAFTA Kids' Vote Television Tracy Beaker Returns Nominated
2012 Children's BAFTA Awards Children's Drama Tracy Beaker Returns Nominated
2012 Children's BAFTA Awards Children's Writer Elly Brewer Nominated


  1. ^ a b c Damian Kavanagh, Controller CBBC (21 March 2012). "Media Centre - cbbc commissions the dumping ground". BBC. Retrieved 7 August 2012. 
  2. ^ "Weekly Top 10 Programmes". 29 July 2012. Archived from the original on 13 January 2013. Retrieved 7 August 2012. 
  3. ^ "CBBC orders up more original drama for children as Tracy Beaker returns to the BBC in 2010". BBC Press Office (BBC). 26 March 2009. Retrieved 6 January 2010 
  4. ^ "Tyneside retu10". 2 October 2009. 
  5. ^ 10/02_february/28/beaker.shtml "Tracy Beaker returns as CBBC commissions more drama from the North East, plus a Newsround special on living in foster care". BBC Press Office. BBC. Retrieved 15 March 2010. 
  6. ^ "Press Office - Tracy Beaker returns to the North East". BBC. Retrieved 12 November 2011. 
  7. ^ "Tracy Beaker Returns wins a Bafta". screenterrior. Retrieved 8 January 2011. 

External links[edit]