Squirrels! Isn’t it time for… Hey Duggee series 4?

BBC Studios and CBeebies have commissioned a fourth series of multi-award-winning hit animation Hey Duggee from Studio AKA.

Children and adults alike will be delighted to hear that Duggee and The Squirrels will return for 40 brand new episodes of the much-loved show.

Hey Duggee is a fun, inclusive and educational series devised by Grant Orchard, senior director of Studio AKA, and narrated by comedian Alexander Armstrong.

Each episode features members of the Squirrel Club exploring, learning and overcoming challenges to earn a new Badge from Duggee – making new friends along the way.

Since launching in 2014, Hey Duggee has become a six-time BAFTA and international Emmy award-winning hit on CBeebies and was the most-watched kids’ show on BBC iPlayer in 2020 with over 192 million requests. All episodes of Hey Duggee are available exclusively on BBC iPlayer in the UK.

Additionally, Hey Duggee has over 1.2 million fans across its social channels and its official YouTube channel has over a billion lifetime views. Recently Hey Duggee teamed up with The Body Coach Joe Wicks for The Workout Badges series on YouTube, following on from bespoke lockdown-themed content on its social channels such as The Handwashing Badge, while The Parenting Badge, which debuted in December 2020, has had over 1.2M views.

Henrietta Hurford-Jones, Director of Children’s and Executive Producer of Hey Duggee for BBC Studios, said: “Hey Duggee is so popular with both parents and children and I’m sure they’ll be as delighted as we are that a new series is on the way. We’re really proud of what we’ve achieved so far and how much people love Duggee and The Squirrels – so we’re delighted to be working with the hugely talented Studio AKA once more and can’t wait for you to see it!”

Sue Goffe, Head of Production at Studio AKA, said: “We’re thrilled to be continuing our glorious Duggee Adventure with BBC Studios and CBeebies. A huge thank you to our extraordinary creative team for all their hard work, and to all our viewers for your continued love and support for the show. Prepare yourselves for more gems to come!”

Kate Morton, Head of BBC Children’s Commissioning & Acquisitions 0-6 said: “Hey Duggee is a staple in households right across the UK so we’re thrilled to continue our adventure with him and The Squirrels on CBeebies. Just like his young fans, all of us at BBC Children’s can’t wait to see what he gets up to next!”

Hey Duggee has an impressive global footprint in over 150 countries with its global popularity spawning numerous licensing agreements including Golden Bear as UK master toy partner and Penguin Books publishing under their Ladybird imprint. Recently BBC Studios secured agreements in Spain with Ypislon as licensing agent and Bizak as master toy partner, marking further growth in Western Europe.

Last year, France TV was signed as the French licensing agent for Hey Duggee and product now available in the region includes: toys from master toy Lansay; plush toys, furniture and melamine courtesy of licensee Jemini; puzzles and early learning games from Ravensburger; magazines by Milan; and books by Hachette.

Father Christmas comes up trumps this Christmas!

Father Christmas Comes Up Trumps! is showing at GLive from Sunday 19 – Friday 24 December  at G Live. 

Father Christmas is back, and this time he's had three helpings of sprouts!

As he tries to deliver the presents, his tummy rumbles, gurgles and groans, but Father Christmas knows he must keep it in – he doesn't want to wake anyone up! TaleGate Theatre Productions hit the perfect combination of witty humour, fantastic music and the extra sparkle for which they have become known in this fabulously funny and brilliantly bouncy musical adaptation of Nicholas Allan’s sequel to ‘Father Christmas Needs a Wee.’ Father Christmas is parking his sleigh at G Live from Sunday 19 December - Friday 24 December with four shows each day. There’s also the chance to meet Father Christmas and receive a gift from his elf after the show! 

This musical has been put together by the team than brought you the festive musical ‘Father Christmas Needs a Wee!’which has seen success in a sell out run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and sell out UK tours for the past five years. With ‘Father Christmas Comes Up Trumps’ TaleGate Theatre Productions have yet again hit the perfect combination of witty humour, fantastic music and the extra sparkle for which they have become known in this fabulously funny and brilliantly bouncy musical adaptation of Nicholas Allan’s much loved series of books. 

Artistic Director, James Worthington comments “We are very excited to tour our new festive musical across the UK. It promises to beat our own high standard and really pack a tuneful punch. We are really lucky to be working with Nicholas Allan again on another of his books as they are perfect for cheeky children everywhere. When even the title makes you laugh you know you are in for a good time!”


Festive fun for all the family at Hampton Court Palace this Christmas

This winter, visitors will be swept up in the festive spirit at Hampton Court Palace as it plays host to the magical outdoor ice rink and the popular Festive Fayre, as well as being bedecked with traditional decorations. New for this year, a whimsical world of planets and stars is waiting to be discovered after dark as the palace’s courtyards and gardens become the setting for an enchanting evening light trail; Palace of Stardust, inspired by Hampton Court’s legendary astronomical clock.

As dusk falls across this magnificent former royal home, an atmospheric wonderland of clocks, moons, planets and sundials lies in wait in the brand-new evening light trail, Palace of Stardust (8 December – 3 January). Visitors will lose track of time as they explore the historic cobbled courtyards and gardens, filled with magical illuminations inspired by the palace’s intricate astronomical clock; the ticking Tudor heart of Hampton Court installed by command of King Henry VIII. From glowing lanterns to mesmerising projections, Palace of Stardust offers a chance to see this incredible clock brought to life like never before, while unique and beautiful installations designed and created by award-winning outdoor event producers Wild Rumpus, will reveal the mysterious meanings behind the strange symbols on this legendary dial. As the trail winds through the palace’s formal gardens, visitors will encounter a flickering moonlit ball in the East Front Gardens, hear the ancient royal trees as they whisper their secrets and even peek into mysterious miniature shadow worlds, before being transported to another planet in the deepest depths of the Wilderness, once home to King Charles II’s formal pleasure garden.  There’ll also be seasonal food and drink available to keep the cold at bay, from mulled wine and mince pies to delicious marshmallow-topped hot chocolate.

Outside the palace’s West Front the popular Hampton Court Palace Ice Rink makes a welcome return, where from 13 November – 9 January skaters can glide across the ice while enjoying the stunning Tudor façade that was once home to King Henry VIII. From 3-5 December, the Festive Fayre will return to the palace courtyards, offering visitors the chance to pick up some memorable gifts, tuck into delicious warming food and soak up the lively atmosphere. With everything from indulgent Christmas pudding to sizzling sausages, and brownies to churros, the array of hand-picked artisan producers are guaranteed to delight even the most committed foodie, while the sounds of Christmas classics will also fill the air from the palace’s bandstand. 

For those who really want to make a day of it, a ticket to Hampton Court Palace offers the chance to walk in the footsteps of history, strolling through the lavish Tudor apartments where Queen Elizabeth once hosted yuletide banquets and standing on the very spot William Shakespeare performed for King James I during the Christmas festivities of 1603.  Visitors can also experience the roaring log fire inside the historic Kitchens, which once produced an astonishing 1,000 meals a day for Henry VIII’s festive feasts.

Explore the Royal Menagerie dressed for Christmas at the Tower of London

This Christmas, from 1 December to 3 January, a spectacular world of twinkling animals will be brought to life at the Tower of London as part of a brand new magical festive experience suitable for all the family.  Throughout December, the famous fortress will be dressed for the season, with stunning seasonal decorations bedecking Christmas trees across the site, accompanied by a series of festive installations based on the story of the Tower’s famous Royal Menagerie.  

The Tower housed a royal menagerie for over 600 years and rather unexpectedly has been home to a range of animals – including a polar bear!  From 1 December families can enjoy magical displays of glittering decorations and illuminated animal-themed areas across the site, telling the stories of some of the exotic animals that once called this historic place home. Begun as a result of medieval monarchs exchanging rare and exotic animals as gifts, Edward I established a permanent new home for the Menagerie - known as the Lion Tower - during his reign. By 1622 the collection had been extended to include everything from leopards, pumas, lions and eagles!  

The Menagerie closed for good in 1835, but this Christmas it will be brought to life once more, with everything from naughty ravens to majestic elephants featuring in the new festive display. Visitors can marvel at a shimmering winter wonderland scene where a polar bear roams, before stumbling upon a set of golden wolves that guard the piles of coins and money bags along the famous Mint Street, once home of the Royal Mint. The centrepiece of the display will be a large and imposing Christmas tree on Tower Green, bedecked with ornate decorations linked to stories from the Tower including crowns, carriages and the famous Royal Jewels. Nestled among the presents at the base of the tree, little ones can have a go at spotting golden animals from each of the illuminations across the site. Finally, the Chapel of St Peter ad Vincula will also be lavishly decorated with beautiful fleur de lis, crown, angel and cherub motifs to reflect the Chapel Royal’s grand architecture, where special Christmas services have been held for hundreds of years.  

The perfect winter treat, Christmas at the Tower of London will run daily (excluding Mondays) from 1 December – 3 January and is included in general admission. The event has also been generously supported by the ‘Let’s Do London’ campaign launched by the Mayor of London to support the economic recovery of London following the Covid-19 pandemic.

Once families have enjoyed the magical lights, there is nearly 1,000 years of history still waiting to be explored throughout the day. The Yeoman Warders will be delivering their famous tours, regaling people with stories of intrigue, imprisonment, execution, torture and much more. Visitors can also spot one of the Tower’s resident ravens, who have been shrouded in myth and legend since Charles II decreed that at least six must remain or the kingdom will fall. Finally, no visit isn’t complete without a visit to the iconic Crown Jewels, where the magnificent world-famous collection of over 25,000 gemstones are just waiting to be admired. 

Weald & Downland Living Museum unveils its new Christmas programme for all the family

The award-winning Weald & Downland Living Museum has an exciting winter programme lined up offering visitors a chance to soak up the festive spirit and learn about Christmas preparations of the past.

Set in a picturesque 40-acre site nestled in the South Downs National Park, the Museum invites visitors of all ages to escape the hustle and bustle of the busy Christmas season and enjoy a unique experience with seasonal events and activities for all the family running throughout December.

On the 3-4 December the Museum will be holding its ‘Advent – preparing for Christmas’ event which will include an array of festive and family-friendly experiences exploring Christmas traditions from the past with live demonstrations and displays.

The two-day event will also include a boutique Christmas market which will bring together over 50 hand-selected stall holders, showcasing a range of high-quality products all sourced from the local region, from arts and crafts to artisanal gifts. This is the perfect opportunity to pick up a unique stocking filler or memorable present while supporting local traders and craftspeople.

On Sunday 5 December, the popular Tree Dressing event will return to mark the custom of honouring the importance of trees. This will include an illuminated procession through the Museum grounds at dusk and guests are encouraged to bring their own headdresses and lanterns which are then placed around the Museum’s aspen trees to create a circle of light. 

The festivities continue from mid-December with the return of Green Father Christmas. Families can enjoy some traditional Christmas magic and book to meet Father Christmas who will be dressed in seasonal greenery and present children with handcrafted gifts. 

All tickets must be pre-booked. For ‘Advent – Preparing for Christmas’ there will be parking available at Goodwood Racecourse and a ‘Park and Ride’ shuttle service running to and from the Museum between 10:00am-4:30pm across both days.

For more information and to book tickets go to www.wealddown.co.uk the Museum will be closed 24 December – 3 January 2022.