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The Ministry of Stories launches today

It’s with great pleasure – and not a little relief – that the first episode of The Ministry of Stories launched on the CBeebies website (and iTunes) today.

CBeebies

Each episode was recorded live in front of an audience of schoolchildren, who took turns at improvising a story with a beginning, a middle and an end. The show is for 3-6 year-olds and (crucially) their parents, so it needed to be fun… but I’ve put a lot of effort into making it tolerable for adults. Jenni Murray (she of Woman’s Hour) plays the absent-minded Chief of the Ministry, whilst her sidekick (who does most of the leg-work) Number Two is played by comedian and writer Terry Saunders.

My long-time collaborator Dave Pickering scripted the sketches and provided some much-needed assistance during the recordings. The music, which could have been disastrous, is pitched perfectly to appeal kids and grown-ups alike… so thanks to Darren Clark for his great compositions.

Special mention should go to Kary Stewart at the production company Ignite Creative, who has backed us all the way since we came up with the proposal last year.

And of course, none of it could have happened without those fine folks at The Ministry of Stories – particularly Lucy McNab and Vicky Price, but also the tens of volunteers who supported the children.

Oh, and the children. All 217 of them. Who took part in 11 workshops. Over 6 weeks. Crikey, it’s an ambitious show now I think about it.

Please do take a moment to have a listen. Children’s radio is one of the last places you can have fun making new formats. I really hope to do more in 2013…

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