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CBBC digs deeper into the toybox

In the UK, the BBC is continuing its revival of antique children's properties by breathing new life into the 50-year-old kids' puppet show Andy Pandy.

Cosgrove Hall has been commissioned to animate the new 26×10' stop-frame series, which will be a co-production between BBC Worldwide and Ben Productions. The three outfits previously teamed up for the recent revival of another kids' classic, Bill & Ben.

Narrated by actor Tom Conti (Shirley Valentine), the new series of Andy PAndy will air on CBBC in 2002. The toon will follow the original characters Andy Pandy, Looby Loo and Teddy – this time without visible strings – alongside new characters. They are to be transplanted from their picnic basket into their own houses overlooking a village green.

{Andy PAndy celebrates play, which is as important to pre-school children today as it has ever been,{ said the new show's exec producer, Theresa Plummer Andrews.

Controller of CBBC Nigel Pickard added: {The strength of Bill & Ben's timeless appeal has been proved in the popularity of the new series. Andy Pandy's characters share this appeal.{

Some 26×15' black-and-white episodes of the original show were made in 1950, with a further 13 turned out in colour in 1970. It was last seen on UK air in 1976. Like Bill & Ben, the series was developed by Freda Lingstrom and Maria Bird as part of the Watch With Mother show.

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