15 Mar

Arnie and Barnie are back on Nick Jr!

Way back last December we were invited to the Nickelodeon studios to watch some filming of the new series of A Bedtime Story with Arnie and Barnie – and as an added bonus we’d also get to meet the storyteller – Konnie Huq, formerly of Blue Peter.

Becky Overton watches Arnie and Barnie being filmed

We met the children’s writer Becky Overton who writes all the stories for the show and had plenty of time to chat and find out what inspired her to write stories – in a nutshell they evolve from regular stories about regular things with a little twist at the end. Occasionally she’ll write a new fairy tale based on an existing one, adding an alternative ending – and given Becky has done this for ages now, and we’re on series seven I reckon she’s on to a winner! Sometimes Becky has written stories with the person reading it in mind – the first in the new series is a re-imagining of Jack and the Beanstalk, called ‘The Jumping Beans’ read by the Olympian Greg Rutherford (who of course competes in the long jump!).

I asked if any of her stories would ever be compiled into a book – we do a lot of reading and I do feel like sometimes I drift when watching tv, so having a large collection of stories would be nice – and it’s something Becky said she’d like to do.

We were taken into the main studio to have a look at the Arnie and Barnie set (Wormy Glen) – going up for photos which was fun  - and fortunately the people behind the puppets were well covered up keeping the magic going for the little ones!

H and I meet Arnie and Barnie

Actually, that in itself is interesting too, as the stage setup means they’re at a quite awkward angle – though in being that way they’re both well propped up! It sounds quite comfy, actually….

So H was terribly excited about having met them, and we were led back into a room for a spot of lunch, including some fabulous Arnie and Barnie cupcakes. Konnie came to join us – giving us time to have a quick chat.

H and I meet Arnie and Barnie

So, what did I find out? I have to say. Konnie looked fabulous (something she disputed having not had a huge amount of sleep the previous night), and we had a good chat – any organised person would have made notes somewhere, but not me, so I’ve forgotten most of what was said – other than when we got a chance to watch Konnie filming she was a natural, switching between accents – I think it was also the first time Becky had seen her stories being filmed too.

Each story takes around 30 minutes or more to film, then gets pictures and more added to it which takes an additional two to three months until finally it’s ready to go – and tonight was the first episode in the new series.

I spotted this link on YouTube about the Importance of Bedtime Stories (which will be a live broadcast in just under a week!) and looks pretty interesting too.

Konnie Huq and Arnie and Barnie

Actually, the best thing in all of this is how A Bedtime Story With Arnie and Barnie keeps the same format – songs and stories and chatter and it’s really good at engaging H – she’ll sit listening (and laughing) at the stories – we tend to catch the Nick Jr 2 showing at 6pm (which are earlier series – we’re recording the new ones!). Nick Jr have launched a new section with some stories in too which is worth checking out!

A Bedtime Story With Arnie and Barnie is on Nick Jr every Friday at 6.30pm. The list of episodes coming up are…

15/03/13 Greg Rutherford The Jumping Beans
22/03/13 Konnie Huq Three Princes and the Pea
29/03/13 Samantha Womack Freddie The Brave
05/04/13 Stacey Soloman The Grimble
12/04/13 Kimberly Wyatt Sausage on Sticks
19/04/13 Kara Tointon The World Behind Walls
26/04/13 Stacey Soloman The Horse with Funny Hats
03/05/13 Helena Dowling Be Quiet Benny!
10/05/13 Konnie Huq The Sheep That Couldn’t Sleep
17/05/13 Kevin Duala – Blues Clues The Great Pillow Fight
24/05/13 Gemma – The Go! Go! Go! Show The Secret Club
31/05/13 Steve – The Go! Go! Go! Show My Cat’s a Superhero

Disclosure – we received no payment for this post, just an invite to the studios. All opinions are our own.

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