|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of seasons||4|
|No. of episodes||280|
|Production location||BBC Elstree Centre|
|Running time||30 minutes|
|Original release||14 October 2002 –|
27 January 2007
Tikkabilla is a UK children's television programme, shown on CBeebies. The programme aims to educate preschool children in an entertaining manner. The title "Tikkabilla" comes from the Hindi word meaning "Hopscotch", a popular children's game.[ citation needed ]
The show features two different presenters and a small dragon puppet named Tamba. Tamba serves as the programme's naive child; the programme's educational content is introduced as the presenters explain things to Tamba. Whilst Tamba appears in every episode, a team of presenters take it in turns to pair-up in each show. These presenters include Justin Fletcher, Sarah-Jane Honeywell, Simon Davies, Lorna Laidlaw, Paul Ewing, Veejay Kaur (series 3–4), Toni Fruitin and Amit Sharma (both series 4 only) and Beverly Hills (series 1–2 only). Tamba is performed by puppeteers Sue Eves (series 1 to 4) who created the voice for Tamba; Alison McGowan (series 2 and 3) and Katherine Smee (series 4). Sue Eves has also written many scripts for the programme.
Much of the show's format follows that of 1964–1988 UK children's programme Play School and later show Playdays . Tikkabilla presenter Simon Davies also presented Play School in its later years and Playdays in its early years and Justin Fletcher played Mr Jolly in the live stage show production of Playdays . In the Tikkabilla studio, which features a large, colourful house, the presenters and Tamba perform songs, tell stories, play games and make things. Occasionally, special guests visit, normally to demonstrate a special skill or performance. The iconic square, round and arched windows made famous by Play School are again used as a device to transport the viewer from the studio to the outside, real world. Location items, sometimes featuring the presenters and Tamba and usually including young children, introduce the wider world to the young audience.
Tikkabilla features mini-series inside the programme, such as Bonny, Banana and Mo, Sami's Worlds, Summerton Mill and Higgledy House, the latter two of which were later shown as standalone programmes on CBeebies. Tikkabilla sometimes shows animated clips originally from other educational BBC programmes mostly from Words and Pictures and Numbertime . One episode once showed an animated clip from Hotch Potch House.
Beverly Hills writes for the programme as well as writing for sister show The Story Makers. Francis Haines and Liz Kitchen wrote the majority of the programme's music. Francis Haines and Jake Hook co-wrote one of the songs.
CBeebies is a British free-to-air public broadcast children's television channel owned and operated by the BBC. It is also the brand used for all BBC content for children aged 6 years and under. Its sister channel, CBBC, is aimed at older children ages 6–12. It broadcasts every day from 6:00am to 7:00pm, timesharing with BBC Four.
BBC Children's and Education is the BBC division responsible for media content for children in the UK. Since the launch of specially dedicated television channels in 2002, the services have been marketed under two brands. CBBC is aimed at children aged between 6 and 12, and CBeebies offers content for younger viewers. Unlike CBeebies, the CBBC brand predates the launch of these channels all the way back to when it was just a children's block on the main channel BBC, when it was also the brand name used for all of the BBC's children's programmes. CBBC broadcasts from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm and CBeebies broadcasts from 6:00 am to 7:00 pm, respectively timesharing with BBC Three for CBBC and BBC Four for CBeebies. The brands also have dedicated websites, social media channels, and over-the-top media services on BBC iPlayer.
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