|The current CBBC logo.|
|Launched||9 September 1985|
CBBC (a contraction of the original name, Children's BBC) is the brand name used for the BBC's children's television programmes, and currently specifically refers to those programmes aimed at children between the ages of 6 and 12. Prior to being refocused solely on the 6-12 group, the CBBC/Children's BBC name was used to refer to all of the BBC's output for under-16s; the tightening in focus followed the launch of dedicated sub-brands for preschool-age children (CBeebies) and teenagers (BBC Switch).
CBBC currently broadcasts as a 12-hour-a-day digital channel (the CBBC Channel) available on most UK digital platforms. The brand is also used for the broadcast of children's programmes on BBC One (weekday afternoons) and BBC Two (mornings, daily). CBBC programmes are also broadcast in high definition alongside other BBC content on the BBC HD channel, generally from 4pm to 6pm on weekdays unless the channel is covering other events. BBC-produced children's programming in native languages of Scotland and Wales also airs, on BBC Alba and S4C respectively.
CBBC is operated by the "BBC Children's" division of the BBC's production arm BBC Vision. The division is managed in the East Tower of BBC Television Centre in London; since 2008, CBBC continuity links have also been broadcast from here. BBC Children's is set to move to Salford Quays Mediacity:UK development as part of the relocation of several BBC departments to the North of England in the coming years. The BBC Children's division also operates CBeebies and BBC Switch. The management structure of the division is that ultimate oversight of the wider Children's division is in the hands of the Controller of Children's (this has, since February 2006, been Richard Deverell), with creative and editorial decisions being made by a Creative Director of each of the three units; the current creative director of CBBC is Anne Gilchrist.
Some CBBC programmes are produced in London, with others coming from studio bases or other locations around the UK.
The branding "Children's BBC" was introduced on 9 September 1985 with the launch of a dedicated block of programme presentation aimed at younger viewers; previously the BBC had broadcast children's programming using regular duty announcers. The launch presenter for this block, and thus the first Children's BBC presenter of the current format, was Phillip Schofield. During the 1990s, Children's BBC began to be referred to informally on-air as 'CBBC' (this occurred at around the same time that ITV's rival service "Children's ITV" began to be referred to as CITV in a similar manner). The official billing name of Children's BBC remained in place, however, until the BBC's network-wide branding refreshment of October 1997, when the official on-air branding changed to CBBC. (CITV officially adopted their short name in their own branding refresh the following year).
The first children-specific strand on BBC television was For The Children, first broadcast on what was then the single 'BBC Television Service' on Saturday 24 April 1937; it was only ten minutes long. It lasted for two years, taken off air when television was closed due to the Second World War in 1939. Following the war, For The Children recommenced on Sunday 7 July 1946, with a twenty minute slot every Sunday afternoon, with the addition of programmes for pre-school children under the banner For The Very Young.
In 1952, the "For The Children" / "For The Very Young" branding was dropped; older children's programmes (such as Blue Peter) would now be introduced by regular announcers, whilst younger children's programming was broadcast as Watch With Mother. The 1964 launch of BBC Two allowed additional room for children's programming, with an edition of Play School technically being the first televised programme to air on BBC Two due to a power cut blacking out the previous night's planned channel launch event programming. On 1 October 1980, "Watch With Mother" was replaced by See-Saw.
Meanwhile, weekday afternoon children's programmes on BBC One were introduced by the usual off-screen continuity announcer, though often specially-designed menus and captions would be used. This ended on Monday 9 September 1985, when Children's BBC a new format with in-vision continuity announcers was launched. This initially encompassed programming on BBC One between 15:55 and 17:35.
By the mid/late 1980s a pattern was established whereby BBC1, following the introduction of its daytime schedules and the move of schools' programmes to BBC2, would broadcast a 25-minute block at circa 10am usually including the 'main' preschooler show (Play School, then from 1988 Playbus/Playdays) and children's birthday cards; BBC2 would show a 5-10 minute programme or programmes at circa 1pm (again aimed at preschoolers, and for a time introduced with a white-background variant of the Children's BBC logo), and then BBC1 would run the afternoon block aimed at older children. Weekend programmes consisted chiefly of Saturday morning programmes on BBC1, such as Going Live! and similar shows. Children's BBC would also broadcast on weekday mornings during school holidays on either BBC1 or 2.
Further changes to the schedule were rolled out during the 1990s and 2000s, including the introduction of Sunday morning programmes on BBC Two, initially in the Open University's summer break and then subsequently year-round; the introduction of a regular weekday morning 'breakfast show' format, also on Two; the relocation of the 10am preschooler show to BBC Two and the relocation of the 1pm preschooler show to run on BBC One before the older children's block.
The launch of digital channel BBC Choice in 1998 saw the channel broadcasting children's programming in a Saturday afternoon slot; subsequently this was replaced by the daily 6am-7pm service CBBC On Choice, which was itself the precursor of the current CBBC Channel and CBeebies services.
The current general schedule for children's shows on BBC terrestrial TV (as of 2009) is as follows:
These schedules are subject to change, particularly around holiday times; the current holiday-time arrangement sees CBeebies content on BBC Two run 6am-8am followed by CBBC content 8am-11am.
In 2009, a report published by the BBC Trust found that scheduling changes which took place in February 2008, where programming ended at 17:15, had led to a decrease in viewers. This was especially noticeable for Blue Peter and Newsround, two of CBBC's flagship programmes; Blue Peter is now recording its lowest viewing numbers since it started in 1958, and Newsround now receives less than 100,000 viewers compared to 225,000 in 2007.. The changes were made following the BBC's loss of the rights to soap opera Neighbours, which had for many years been broadcast between the end of CBBC and the start of the 6pm news; when the decision to move daytime editions of The Weakest Link from BBC Two to One to fill the gap, CBBC had to move to an earlier slot, as Weakest Link" is longer than Neighbours was.
CBBC produces a wide range of programme types, including drama, news, entertainment, and documentary and factual programming. CBBC therefore is often seen as offering a similar mix of formats to the wider BBC, albeit tailored to suit a young audience.
The longest-running CBBC programme is the magazine show Blue Peter. Other notable current and former CBBC programmes include Grange Hill, Newsround, Live and Kicking and recent hit The Story of Tracy Beaker.
From its launch in 1985 until 1994, Children's BBC was presented from the regular continuity announcer's booth in the BBC1 network control area, which had a camera fitted such that the presenter could appear in vision; as it remained an operational continuity booth, the presenter would partly direct their own links by way of vision and sound mixers built into the studio desk.
The booth became known as 'the Broom Cupboard' due to its small size (the term was first used to refer to a smaller temporary booth, but was later retroactively applied to the main booth). The plain booth wall behind the presenter would be livened up with elements of set dressing, VT monitors and pictures sent in by viewers. Occasionally, when Children's BBC was going out on BBC2 rather than 1 due to events coverage, the presenter would be located in the BBC2 continuity booth for transmission purposes, which was not set dressed for Children's BBC.
There were two presentation studios - larger than the Broom Cupboards but smaller than full programme studios - known as Pres A and Pres B. It was not initially thought economically viable to use these for daily Children's BBC links, hence the use of the Broom Cupboard. However, by 1987 these studios were being used for the mid-morning 'birthday card' slots and weekend and holiday morning strands such as 'But First This". The afternoon Children's BBC remained in the Broom Cupboard.
In 1994, Pres A was refurbished and became the regular home for all Children's BBC presentation including the weekday afternoon block; the presenters no longer had to self-op the broadcast equipment (although a broom cupboard-style area in the corner of Pres A contained its own mixer was used for the birthday slot and weekend mornings to save on crew), and the larger set allowed for more dynamic presentation, with more presenters, characters, features, games and guests. A new 3D version of the then logo of Children's BBC was commissioned to mark the move.
In 1997, Children's BBC moved again when 'Studio A' was decommissioned and CBBC moved to the purpose-built Studio 9 (officially 'TC9'), adjacent to the Blue Peter Garden at BBC Television Centre. The first broadcasts from Studio 9 were in June 1997; this was followed in October by the launch of the new-look CBBC branding. TC9 continued to be the regular home of CBBC broadcasts on BBC One and Two until 2005 and was also used to record CBBC On Choice links between 2000 and 2002.
In 2002, TC2 became the home of CBBC Channel links, plus the channel's XChange and UK Top 40 programmes, whilst CBeebies operated from the smaller TC0. (CBeebies remained in TC0 until moving to Teddington in 2008).
In Autumn 2004 the studio arrangements for CBBC were changed again. The CBBC Channel moved from TC2 to TC9, with BBC One / Two links and the UK Top 40 show moving to TC10 - formerly news studio N1 - located on the sixth floor of TV Centre. BBC One and Two links then moved back into TC9 alongside CBBC Channel in March 2006 as the number of studios available to CBBC was reduced.
In December 2006, there was a further reduction in CBBC facilities. A colour separation overlay set was assembled in TC12, and this became the home of all CBBC links on BBC One, BBC Two and CBBC Channel until September 2007. There was also a reduction in the number of on air presenters, with hosts including Angellica Bell and Simon Grant leaving and not being replaced. The last live CBBC links from TC9 were broadcast on Friday 1 December 2006; the studio was then mothballed but has since been brought back into use for individual programmes including TMi and SMart.
CBBC's presenters during the CSO era were Gemma Hunt (BBC One weekdays) Anne Foy (CBBC Channel) and Ayesha Asantwaa (weekends). Hunt and Foy switched slots in February 2007. Ted Robbins appeared (in character as The Governor from The Slammer) during holiday periods.
On 3 September 2007 the CSO studio was dropped in a relaunch which saw a small real set built in TC12. As part of the relaunch, new logos and presenters were introduced. The design of the new 'office' set has been compared to the original 'broom cupboard', though unlike the 'broom cupboard' the 'office' is not a functioning continuity suite.
Ed Petrie became the chief continuity presenter, accompanied by puppet sidekick Oucho T. Cactus (operated and voiced by Warrick Brownlow-Pike). The duo presented live, weekday afternoon links on the CBBC Channel with Petrie voicing pre-recorded, out-of-vision announcements during the weekday strand on BBC One and BBC Two. Aside from taking two extended breaks to work on programming, the duo continue to present continuity for the CBBC Channel throughout the week.
Anne Foy presented pre-recorded in-vision links at the weekend alongside her dog, Elliot, until her departure in March 2008. Foy was replaced by two new presenters, Ben Hanson and Ciaran Joyce, who previously appeared in CBBC show The Story of Tracy Beaker. The duo previously presented in-vision links at the weekend, until December 2008 when they were replaced by Dan and Jeff (Daniel Clarkson and Jefferson Turner). Holly Walsh also presented weekend and holiday cover for a time during 2008, with a sidekick (either a talking brain - Dunceton - or 'Juan the cleaner'). Iain Stirling joined the presentation staff in May 2009 alongside a new puppet character, Hacker T. Dog.
|Ed Petrie||(3 September 2007–present)||Weekend mornings|
|Oucho T. Cactus||(3 September 2007–present)||Returns with Ed later in 2010|
|Chris Johnson||(9 January 2010–present)||Weekend mornings|
|Iain Stirling||(23 May 2009-present)||Weekday mornings/afternoons|
|Hacker T. Dog||(23 May 2009–present)||Weekday mornings/afternoons|
|Adam Fleming||February 2006|
|Ayesha Asantewaa||December 2006|
|Rani Price||April 2007|
|Ted Robbins||August 2007 & October 2007|
|Lee Barnett||October 2007|
|Ross Lee||December 2007 - January 2007|
|Johny Pitts||July - August 2008|
|Holly Walsh||1 September 2008 - 1 December 2008 (plus relief cover)|
|Dunceton the Brain||September 2008 - December 2008|
|Sam Nixon||April/May 2009 (plus relief cover)|
|Mark Rhodes||April/May 2009 (plus relief cover)|
|Dani Harmer||4 January 2010 - 8th January 2010|
Former continuity presenters have included Phillip Schofield, Andy Crane, Simon Parkin, Andi Peters, Philippa Forrester, Toby Anstis, Zoë Ball, Josie D'Arby, Simeon Courtie, Kirsten O'Brien, Chris Jarvis, Ana Boulter, Angellica Bell, Andrew Hayden-Smith, Gemma Hunt, Michael Underwood, Sophie McDonnell, Matt Edmondson, Anne Foy, Simon Grant and Holly Walsh.
CBBC Extra is a free interactive television service from CBBC provided by BBC Red Button. It is accessible from the CBBC Channel by pressing red and then selecting CBBC Extra. It can also be accessed from any other BBC channel by pressing red and going to page number 570. The service differs across digital platforms, for example digital satellite (i.e: Sky) viewers can access a video loop. Its availability on digital terrestrial (Freeview) is dependent upon BBCi not showing other interactive services, such as major sports events coverage.
CBBC Extra offers 'Nev's Horoscopes', games, the UK Top 40, jokes sent in by viewers and a weekly competition.
This feature allows the viewers to play a quiz. Viewers can also send in their question which could be shown to the nation. There are 5 levels, each containing 5 questions. CBBC Quiz can be found by pressing the red button on a BBC television channel and keying in page 570. Viewers then arrive at CBBC Extra and can then select the option that reads CBBC Quiz. Alternatively, viewers can tune in to the CBBC Channel, press the red button and select CBBC Quiz from the main menu.
The CBBC website provides a wide range of activities for viewers aged 6–12, such as games, videos, puzzles, pre-moderated message boards and frequently updated news feeds. Some of the sites include Sarah Jane Adventures, Horrible Histories, Trapped, My CBBC, Adventure Rock, Nevaland, Tracy Beaker, Scorpion Island, Tag Team, Bugbears, Tronji, BAMZOOKi and Blue Peter.
Foldeez are printable CBBC characters that you can print off from the CBBC website.
CBBC Games has over 100 games for children to play online. Top games include Horrible Histories - Terrible Treasure, Trapped, Nevaland - Bandit Bites, Cartoon Works - Bosses Lobby, Tag Team, Roar, Sarah Jane Adventures - Circuit Training and Skid!.
There are also Switch accessible games available for children that cannot use a keyboard or mouse.
My CBBC is a feature to the new CBBC website. It allows the user to create their own "den" or room which the can furnish. It is also possible to create your own avatar. The new feature is heavily promoted on the Children's BBC Channel.
Adventure Rock (previously named CBBC World) is a virtual online world that launched on 1 March 2008. Press releases have stated "it would allow digitally literate children the access to characters and resources they had come to expect. Users would be able to build an online presence, known as an avatar, then create and share content."
Controller of Children's BBC Richard Deverell said: "Adventure Rock is a good example of the way we need to go. The thing that interests me is that children are at the vanguard. And that is where we are taking Children's BBC." A new game, Tronji, has also been created.
|Launched||11 February, 2002|
|Picture format||576i (SDTV) 16:9|
|Audience share||0.5% (January 2009)|
|Formerly called||Children's BBC|
(1985 - 1997)
|Replaced||CBBC on BBC Choice|
|IPTV over ADSL|
|bbc.co.uk||Watch online (UK only)|
CBBC (Children's BBC) is the name of the BBC's television programmes that are for children. It is also the name of a television channel that often shows these programmes. The programmes are meant for children that are between 6 and 12 years old. The "Children's BBC" name began on 9 September 1985. Before then there were BBC children's programmes, but they were not branded under one name. The name "CBBC" was used informally since 1990, and became the official name in 1997.
CBBC is run by the BBC Children's department, who make the programmes for children up to the age of 16. Most of their offices are in the East Tower of the BBC Television Centre, with some programmes coming from Scotland and Bristol. CBBC produces a whole range of programme types, including drama, news, entertainment and educational programmes.
Since February 2006, the Controller of the BBC Children's department has been Richard Deverell. The department splits output into age groups:
Anne Gilchrist is Creative Director of CBBC, and Michael Carrington is Creative Director of CBeebies.
Monday 3 September 2007 saw the fifth CBBC relaunch. As part of the relaunch, new logos, idents, interactive services, programmes and presenters were introduced. The previous computer generated backgrounds used from December 2006 were replaced by a real set.
Ed Petrie became the chief continuity presenter, accompanied by a puppet sidekick Oucho T. Cactus (operated and voiced by Warrick Brownlow-Pike). They regularly present live, weekday afternoon links on the CBBC channel with Petrie voicing pre-recorded, out-of-vision announcements during for weekdays on BBC One. On 29 August 2008, they went on extended leave to record a new series for CBBC - they returned to continuity duties on 1 December 2008. During this period, relief presenter Holly Walsh presented weekday afternoon links for the channel with Dunceton the Talking Brain.
Anne Foy presented pre-recorded in-vision links at the weekend alongside her dog, Elliot, until her departure in March 2008. Foy was replaced by two new presenters, Ben Hanson and Ciaran Joyce, who previously appeared in CBBC show The Story of Tracy Beaker. They have since been replaced by comedy double act Dan and Jeff.
CBBC extra is a free interactive television service from CBBC. It is found on the BBCi pages. It is accessible from the CBBC Channel by pressing the red button and then selecting "CBBC extra". It can also be accessed from any other BBCi page by pressing 570.
The service is different on different digital platforms, for example Sky viewers can access the video loop. But it is only available on Freeview when BBCi is not showing other interactive services, like sports events.
CBBC extra offers games, the UK Top 40 music, jokes sent in by viewers, "Nev's Horoscopes", and a weekly competition. The current presenter of CBBC extra is Ed Petrie.
This new feature allows the viewers to play a quiz. There are 5 levels, each containing 5 questions. Viewers can also send in their questions which could be shown on the service. The CBBC Quiz can be from the CBBC extra page, by selecting the option called "CBBC Quiz". This option is also available on the main interactive menu on the CBBC Channel, by pressing the red button.
My CBBC is a feature to the new CBBC website. It allows users to create their own room which they can decorate. It is also possible to create your own avatar. The new feature is often promoted on the CBBC Channel.
Adventure Rock (renamed from CBBC World) is a virtual online world that launched on 1 March 2008. Press releases have stated "it would allow digitally literate children the access to characters and resources they had come to expect. Users would be able to build an online presence, known as an avatar, then create and share content."
The main points of the system are safety and responsibility online, with no chatrooms or the financial aspects available in other online worlds such as Second Life.
Controller of Children's BBC Richard Deverell said: "Adventure Rock is a good example of the way we need to go. The thing that interests me is that children are at the vanguard. And that is where we are taking Children's BBC."