CBeebies' two new shows to celebrate UK's cultural diversity

MUMBAI: CBeebies controller Michael Carrington has announced two new in-house commissions for transmission in 2010. The shows are Let‘s Celebrate and Same Smile.

Both series focus on live action filming of real children‘s lives to celebrate the nation‘s culture and diversity as experienced by the under-sixes.

Carrington says, "Both these series will hold up a mirror and reflect the varied and colourful lives of our young viewers and their families, with an engaging, thought-provoking and celebratory feel to life across the UK and the cultures and faiths that make up 21st century Britain."

From Chinese New Year to Christmas, Let‘s Celebrate shows how children experience different religious and cultural festivals around the UK. The show visits a different UK community each episode to join in the fun and excitement of their celebrations by visiting a family or group of children who are getting ready for a festival – be it dressing up, decorating the house, preparing food or exchanging gifts.

The programmes then showcase a musical

or dramatic performance which tells the story behind the festival before returning to the children and their families at a party or event in full celebratory mode.

Presenter and children‘s performer Patrick Lynch introduces the festivals from his ‘party house‘ which literally tingles with excitement – it seems that this house and the street outside can‘t wait to celebrate... and each show ends with a call for young viewers at home to join the celebrations as a street party explodes into life.

Other festivals featured in the series include Vaisakhi, Eid-ul-Fitr, Holi, Wesak, Purim, Diwali, Easter, St Patrick‘s Day, St David‘s Day, St George‘s Day, St Andrew‘s Day and Norouz.The show targets four-to-six-year-olds.

Carrington adds, "Behind the festivities, the fireworks and the feasting are stories and customs which underpin the whole event. Let‘s Celebrate does just that – engaging and encouraging our young viewers to celebrate along with their peers."

Same Smile blends live action and animation as presenter Nisha Anil cycles across the UK with her group of three cuddly pandas visiting children to discover that they are just like them but different.

A collaboration involving teams from Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and London, the series is being created for two to four year olds offering a window on the world of young children and celebrating the diversity of their lives.

In each episode, Nisha and her trio of bears will visit a nursery or group of children and then delve into the Same Smile box to discover the theme for the day – be it a favourite place, favourite food, the garden or family.

Whilst Nisha stays with the group to play games or creative activities, two of the cuddly pandas go home with two children to explore their own versions of the day‘s theme.

Carrington adds, "Same Smile is really owned by the children who take part in the series, they‘re absolutely at its heart. Each episode, children take the pandas home and introduce them to their worlds and their imaginations. So each film is a unique look at a child‘s life and their world, showing us that we are all the same, but different."

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