More playtime for Magic Light Pictures’ preschool hit Pip and Posy

Pip and Posy, the hit pre-school series from multiple Oscar-nominated Magic Light Pictures, has been recommissioned for a second series of 52 x 7’ episodes to debut in early 2023 on Milkshake! on Channel 5 and Sky Kids and NOW in the UK and ROI.

Pip and Posy is the first joint co-production between Paramount and Sky and the show launched to acclaim in March 2021.

Series 2 will build on the success of the first series, which is one of the top rated shows on Milkshake! (3 million viewers since launch). Pip and Posy has also seen significant growth across its own social media platforms on YouTube, Instagram and Facebook.

Magic Light has sold the show worldwide, securing major international broadcast partners including ZDF (Germany), FTV (France), RAI Yoyo (Italy), ABC (Australia), SVT (Sweden), Hop! Channel (Israel), NPO Zapp (Netherlands), CTV (Czech Republic), Asiana (South Korea), PTS (Taiwan), DR (Denmark), YLE (Finland), SYN (Iceland), NRK (Norway), RTV (Slovenia) and TVO (Canada). It will also air on Nick Junior UK from this spring.

Pip and Posy are the best of friends whose lives revolve around a wonderful world of play. Packed with warmth and humour, the series is a joyful celebration of their great friendship with all its ups and downs, laughter and games.

Louise Bucknole, VP Programming Kids, Paramount, says: “We’re delighted that Pip and Posy has been such a hit with the audience. We are very happy to commission a second series of this endearing show which has quickly found its way into the hearts of our young viewers, where they can relate to the stories of friendship, creative play and being a preschooler.”

Lucy Murphy, Director of Kids at Sky UK & Ireland, says: “We aim to bring our youngest audience the very best entertainment and Pip and Posy has proved to be a show preschoolers and their families love. We’re hugely looking forward to seeing what further fun and games the lovable pair will be getting up to in series two!”

Pip and Posy is Magic Light’s first animated series and we’re thrilled that it’s got off to such a successful start,” says Michael Rose, co-founder of Magic Light. “We’re delighted that Milkshake!, Sky and ZDF share our passion for the show, and we’re looking forward to bringing more episodes to our young audience.”

Pip and Posy has been jointly commissioned by Louise Bucknole for Milkshake! on Channel 5 and Lucy Murphy for Sky Kids with the participation of ZDF, Germany. The series is executive produced by Michael Rose and produced by Vici King for Magic Light Pictures. The showrunner at Magic Light is Jeroen Jaspaert (Stick Man and The Highway Rat). Animation services are provided by Blue Zoo, where the director is Sean McCormack.

Magic Light Pictures holds the global distribution and merchandising rights to Pip and Posy (excluding publishing) and is planning a full consumer products programme to complement the property with the first products due at retail this year, whilst the online shop went live at the end of 2021. The Pip and Posy characters are also appearing in Milkshake! Live and will be touring nationwide from February 2022 through to 2023.

Channel 5’s Milkshake! confirmed as the home of MixMups

Channel 5’s children’s strand, Milkshake!, has announced that it will be the broadcast home of MixMups, its first animated preschool series to feature disabled lead characters and to be made by a team with lived experience of disability.

Developed and produced with support from the UK Government funded Young Audiences Content Fund (YACF), which is managed by the BFI, and in collaboration with Raydar Media, the groundbreaking 52 x 10-minute stop-motion animated series for three- to five-year olds shines a light on different preschool play styles and the joy of mixing up objects and ideas to create stories.

The show’s premise is inspired by all children’s love of “mixing” and combining items as a way of playing, exploring and discovering, and centres around three loveable friends, the “MixMups”. Neat and tidy Pockets, creative and inventive Giggle, and boisterous and physical Spin, along with their lovable assistance pets, Roller Guinea and Yapette the guide dog, all live in a wheelchair-accessible Helter-Skelter house in “Mixington Valley”. Each episode sees the friends use their magical wooden spoon and mixing box to ‘Mix up the Magic’ of play and transport themselves on a host of comical adventures, where they embrace a variety of ways to play, entertain each other and embark upon day-to-day problem-solving challenges with the help of the trunky-beaked Lucky Loover Bird. Core themes include the joy of individuality, imagination, friendship and flexible thinking.

Now entering production, Milkshake! will premiere MixMups in March 2023.

MixMups was created by Rebecca Atkinson, the founder of the viral #ToyLikeMe campaign, which called for more diversity in children’s industries. The series will be produced by award-winning Manchester-based animation house Mackinnon & Saunders (Postman Pat, Raa Raa the Noisy Lion, Twirly Woos). The project initially received development support from the YACF and converted to a broadcaster commission with Milkshake! last year.

“We couldn’t be more thrilled that the wonderful MixMups, a show that celebrates individuality and the distinct play styles and personalities that preschoolers have, is joining the Milkshake! line-up,” says Louise Bucknole, Vice President, Children’s Programming, Paramount UK and Ireland. “It’s vital to us that our young audiences and their families see themselves reflected in our storytelling, so our cast of MixMups all have very different characters, and when they come together, magical things happen.

“It is also our first commission which from its very genesis, has been entirely inspired and created with the experiences of disabled children in mind. Working with Rebecca and a core production team that has lived experience of disability, we are confident we can bring a level of authenticity, understanding and commitment to the show, unlike any other.  We can’t wait for fans of Milkshake! to fall in love with the MixMups just as we have.”

Series creator, Rebecca Atkinson adds: “I am over the moon that MixMups will be joining Milkshake! It was my dream to create a compelling show that draws on my own experiences as a disabled person to create lovable characters and stories and really ‘mix’ up what disability representation looks like. As a child I loved mixing up potions, food, cake mix, paint, even toys in the bath!  I hope that MixMups will inspire a generation of preschoolers to reach for the nearest wooden spoon and ‘mix up the magic’ of play too.”

The agreement was brokered by Raydar Media on behalf of MixMups Entertainment Limited, a joint venture between Toy Like Me, Mackinnon & Saunders and Raydar Media. A global licensing and merchandising programme helmed by Valerie Fry at Raydar Media will roll out in 2023. Trade and consumer PR will be handled by Kirsty Barr of Grapevine PR on behalf of MixMups Entertainment Ltd.

Bulldog signs Wow! Stuff for master toy global deal

Licensing agency Bulldog has agreed terms on a deal with Wow! Stuff for the toy company to become the first licensee for the ‘boundary breaking’ 2.5D animated series Odo.

Created by Sixteen South Originals and co-produced with Letko, Odo has now sold into more than 128 countries. In the new Master Toy global deal, Wow! Stuff will create a comprehensive range of toys including plush, dolls, figures and accessories, role-play toys, play sets, track sets, construction toys and bath toys.

Odo is a little owl with big ideas and was recently selected to join the Bulldog family of brands following its stellar TV launch last year. The first series comprises 52 x 7-minute stories and has already been pre-sold to many leading networks and broadcasters worldwide. The series is now airing every weekday on Milkshake! in the UK.

Odo has also been signed by HBO Max in the US and is airing on MiniMini+ in Poland, TVO Kids and Knowledge Kids in Canada and ABC in Australia. Many more territories will roll out throughout 2022.

The series combines humour and heart and aims to teach young children self-efficacy and to believe in themselves to help combat the troubling rise in childhood anxiety and depression levels. Each episode sees Odo positively tackle challenges with the help of his best friend Doodle, under the loving watchful eye of Camp Leader, an eagle.

Wow! Stuff’s Director of Licensing, Kenny McAndrew, is delighted with the deal. “We were pitching against some of the biggest toy companies for Odo,” he says. “Everything Odo stands for resonates and aligns with our own values, we wanted this with all our hearts – and I think that showed through in our pitch! Odo is unique; Odo the owl is gender neutral, the themes are groundbreaking and the series is grounded on social justice. And it’s very, very funny.”

Vicky Miller, Licensing Director of Bulldog Licensing, adds: “Wow! Stuff’s reputation for innovation is really unmatched in the industry and that’s what we wanted for Odo. The series is breaking boundaries in its approach to children’s mental health and wellbeing, it’s a trail-blazer in the preschool entertainment arena. Similarly, Wow! Stuff always goes above and beyond to create innovative, show-stopping product ranges and that’s just what Odo deserves”.


Channel 5’s Milkshake! announces UK tour

Channel 5’s Milkshake! has announced a brand-new live tour show for 2022: Milkshake! Live: Milkshake! Monkey’s Musical.

An all-singing, all-dancing live spectacular starring everyone’s favourite Milkshake! characters, the show will hit the road from February 2022, travelling to over 40 venues around the country, with more dates still to be added.

Milkshake! Monkey will be joined by two Milkshake! presenters plus some of his favourite Milkshake! friends – Paddington, Pip and Posy, Blues Clues & You!, Daisy & Ollie, Milo, Noddy and more.

The tour launches on Saturday 12 February at the Weston-Super-Mare Playhouse and continues through to Birmingham’s Symphony Hall on Sunday 30 October 2022. More dates will be added in due course.

Tickets for all dates are on sale now and available from

Daisy & Ollie secures new series commission from Channel 5’s Milkshake!

Manchester-based Hoopla Animation has announced that Channel 5 has greenlit a brand new fifth series of Jason Manford’s hit 2D animation Daisy & Ollie for its multiplatform preschool brand, Milkshake!.

In addition, Channel 5 has also inked a five-year deal with Hoopla to air all five of the Daisy & Ollie series on Milkshake!, including series 1 and 2, which originally launched on Cartoonito in 2017.

The show has proven hugely popular with Milkshake! audiences, airing daily since its launch on the channel in March 2020. Daisy & Ollie was recently showcased at the broadcaster’s live ‘5 on the Farm’ event which took place on August Bank Holiday weekend at Cannon Hall Farm in Yorkshire, featuring meet and greets and live nursery rhyme shows led by the show’s official costume characters.

The Channel 5 commission will see Hoopla Animation produce a further 26 x 7-minute episodes, due to launch on the channel’s children’s block Milkshake! next year, bringing the total number of episodes created to 130. The show is based on an original idea by Hoopla’s Helen Brown and co-written and executive produced by comedian Jason Manford, who also voices some of the main characters including Daisy’s Daddy and Whizzy the Robot.

Each episode follows best friends Daisy (voiced by Sarah Hadland) and Ollie (voiced by Claire Morgan) on their adventures, as they seek out the answers to questions that many children ask each day such as ‘How Do Bats See In The Dark?’, ‘Why Do We Have To Wash?’ and ‘What does adoption mean?’.

Daisy & Ollie has featured a host of celebrity guest stars to date, including comedian Paddy McGuinness and TV Star Christine McGuinness, who appeared in a much-acclaimed special episode in partnership with the National Autism Society. Further guest stars have included TV presenter and comedian Romesh Ranganathan and Mrs Brown’s Boys actor Brendan O’Carroll, whilst Take That star Gary Barlow performed in a Christmas special.

Jetpack Distribution have the worldwide distribution rights for Daisy & Ollie and the series has sold in multiple territories across the globe.

Dominic Gardiner, Jetpack’s CEO, says: “The fact that Daisy & Ollie has been greenlit for a fifth season is a testament to its quality and appeal. It’s been a top-selling show in our preschool line up and proved universally popular across the globe, with some timeless themes for preschoolers, and inciting their curiosity and wonder. I’m very much looking forward to seeing the next season and taking it to market.”


Thomas & Friends: All Engines Go pulls into Channel5’s Milkshake this November

Thomas & Friends: All Engines Go – a new, vibrantly refreshed, 2D animated series following the iconic Thomas the Tank Engine – is pulling into Channel 5’s Milkshake on Monday, November 8th this year.

Produced by Mattel Television in partnership with Corus Entertainment’s Nelvana Studio, the new series is a major reimagining of the classic Thomas & Friends franchise and the fourth ever major revamp for the world famous kids’ animated show in its 75 year history.

The new series follows Thomas, more playful and relatable than ever before, as the hero of his own adventure. Thomas strives to be the Number One Tank Engine through trial and error, all while just enjoying being a kid.

According to Mattel, highlights of Thomas & Friends: All Engines Go include a greater range of character expressiveness, more physical comedy and music, and core characters that are now kids themselves and voiced by British child actors. The show has been ‘crafted to appeal to contemporary audiences’ sensibilities while maintaining Thomas’ core message about the value of friendship.’

 Thomas & Friends: All Engines Go incorporates 26 social-emotional, cognitive, and physical life lessons throughout the series, including friendship, taking turns, teamwork, self-help, and empathy.

Four additional engines make up the core cast of characters:

•Percy – Thomas’ best friend who loves telling silly jokes, Percy has a lot of hidden courage (that not even he’s aware of!) and will do anything to help his friends. 

•Nia – Nia is an engine who loves a good plan, offering both creative and practical solutions. Because Nia is so well travelled, she often has valuable insight into things the other engines haven’t seen before.

•Diesel – Diesel is always trying to one-up Thomas and inadvertently causes trouble for everyone in his quest to be “the real Number One Tank Engine.”

•Kana – An all-new electric high-speed rail train, she is fast talking, loves to race and creates gusts of wind that blow windmills and bend trees in her wake.

 Fred Soulie, senior vice president and general manager, Mattel Television, said: “This new creative direction for the classic Thomas & Friends franchise is crafted to appeal to contemporary audiences, yet still maintain the beloved characters’ core ethos: the value of friendship. Thomas & Friends: All Engines Go features stories that are both timeless and timely, with themes that will resonate with children, parents and caregivers alike.” 

Christopher Keenan, senior vice president, global content and executive producer, Mattel Television, added: “We can’t wait for the next generation of fans to meet Thomas and his friends. In Thomas & Friends: All Engines Go, we aim for audiences to have fun as we expand the world of Sodor in new and exciting ways. For the better part of the last decade, I’ve had the privilege of working on the Thomas & Friends television series and I’ve seen first-hand how Thomas and his core message about the value of friendship inspire a broad audience – children, parents and caregivers alike. These stories are both timeless and timely, with themes that continue to resonate with kids today.”

 Kelly Philp, director of marketing, Mattel UK, said: “Thomas & Friends has 92 per cent brand awareness in the UK, so we are looking forward to exciting our Thomas fans new and old with all the fun and adventure of the show’s new approach.

“The singable songs and endless laughs have already tested well with our pre-school audience and Thomas & Friends: All Engines Go will be a great tool for parents and caregivers too, due to the integrated life lessons and values that are incorporated within the content.”

 Thomas & Friends: All Engines Go will premiere on Channel 5 Milkshake on November 8th. In the UK, the series will be preceded by a new 60-minute animated motion picture, Thomas & Friends: Race for the Sodor Cup™, showing at Vue and Odeon cinemas throughout the UK from Friday, September 17th, which will be the first time that children and parents can see the new-look and feel Thomas & Friends before it hits television screens later in the year.

MTV, Milkshake! and Ben Fogle among ViacomCBS UK’s live event and summer festival line-up

ViacomCBS UK is embarking on a summer of live and in-person events across its portfolio of entertainment brands, from Channel 5’s Milkshake to MTV, thanks to its first 5 on the Farm summer festival and a new partnership with Parkdean Resorts.

Taking place at Cannon Hall Farm in South Yorkshire, 5 on the Farm is a new, live outdoor festival taking place across the August bank holiday weekend, from 28th to 30th, featuring a line-up of Channel 5 stars, including Ben Fogle, Amanda Owen, the cast of the hit drama All Creatures Great and Small, Milkshake! Monkey and more.

The three-day festival will be hosted by This Week on the Farm’s Helen Skelton, JB Gills, and Jules Hudson and will offer more than 70 hours of live entertainment for families through a series of workshops, activities, live panels, and demonstrations.

As it makes its preparations for the event, ViacomCBS UK has brought in Lindeman’s Wines and the outdoor clothing and camping specialist GO Outdoors as sponsors. Lineman’s Wines will be the exclusive wine partner of the event and will bring with it a carbon absorbing mural installation in celebration of the brand’s Carbon Neutral Certification across its European product range.

Meanwhile, GO Outdoors will have an integrated presence with branding and products visible throughout the site promoting outdoor activities to families and inspiring the public to get out and enjoy nature.

But that’s not all that ViacomCBS UK has in store for this summer, as it continues to build its event footprint through a new partnership with British Travel Awards 2020 Best UK Family Holiday Company winner, Parkdean Resorts to bring Channel 5’s Milkshake!, Nickelodeon, and MTV entertainment brands to British holidaymakers at the group’s 40 parks across the UK.

The branded entertainment will include sessions such as Milkshake! Mornings and Nickelodeon Summer Entertainment with SpongeBob SquarePants, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and PAW Patrol for families and younger children, in addition to MTV-themed activities and music-fuelled MTV Weekender events for over 18s later in the year.

Dates and locations will be detailed in the coming months.

Virginia Monaghan, VP, events and experiences, VCN UK & Ireland, said: “We’re thrilled to be back with more live events this summer after a very tough year for the events sector. ViacomCBS UK is uniquely positioned to cater to all ages, from families with young children to hard-to-reach teenagers and young people.

“We’re looking forward to working with Lindeman’s Wines, GO Outdoors and Parkdean to safely entertain British holidaymakers and festival fans through our branded events across the UK.”

Milo celebrates ratings success on Milkshake! as preschool series goes from ‘strength to strengthg

Milo, the new preschool series from Fourth Wall and Planeta Junior, is celebrating high ratings across Channel 5’s Milkshake, the channel’s preschool segment upon which it made its UK debut in mid-May this year.

Within one month of launching on May 10th in its prime time 8am weekday slot, the series has, according to the firm, ‘achieved great ratings on Milkshake!’ with expectations abound that the series will ‘continue to go from strength to strength.

The series is also available for viewers on the broadcaster’s on-demand platform, My5.

Milo follows the adventures of its titular hero, a five year old cat who, together with his friends Lofty and Lark, uses role-play to explore the world of vocations, be that a doctor or mechanic, a hairdresser or chef, or a postal worker. The aim of the series is to introduce preschoolers to a variety of professions in a positive and entertaining way.

Milo is already a successful children’s book character with over 30 titles published and sold in more than 20 territories worldwide.

The production of the preschool series has been supported by the UK Government’s Young Audiences Content Fund. Managed by the BFI, the fund supports the creation of distinctive, quality content for young audiences. The fund is intended for providing content that informs our understanding of the world, stimulates knowledge and learning, as well as representing diversity and alternative viewpoints.

Planeta Junior holds and manages the series’ worldwide consumer products rights and is working with Lisle Licensing in the UK to build a strong brand presence and licensing programme.

TOMY puts new Ricky Zoom toys into gear as kids’ series makes second season debut in the UK

TOMY is preparing to launch its follow up master range of Ricky Zoom toys this year, as the popular preschool series revs itself up for its second season debut here in the UK.

First launched in July 2020 during what has been a challenging period for retail, Ricky Zoom toys have made a solid start and are set to launch more new lines throughout 2021. These include TOMY’s unique Wind & Launch assortment, a wheel launcher that will send Ricky’s red bike racing.

The launch will follow on from the top selling success of last year’s Speed & Stunt Ricky Zoom play-set, the third best-selling Ricky Zoom item overall at retail, and is already tipped to ‘be equally as popular.’

Fresh hype around the TOMY master toy line is expected to coincide with the second season debut in the UK of the CGI animation, as Hasbro and its global entertainment studio, Entertainment One, rev up for its launch on Nick Jr and Channel 5’s multi-platform preschool brand, Milkshake!

The CGI animated series follows Ricky, a speed loving little red rescue bike who enjoys to zoom around Wheelford. The show has already enjoyed a ‘strong success in the UK’ among its preschool audiences, while the brand has picked up a number of licensing partners lead by TOMY master toy range.

“We are thrilled to bring Ricky Zoom back to the number one channel for preschoolers in the UK with Milkshake! and Nick Jr.” said eOne’s Monica Candiani, EVP, content sales, family and brands.

“The show has had such strong success in the UK among young viewers, allowing us to secure a number of licensing partners across a variety of categories. We can’t wait for audiences to watch season two, which I am sure will deliver even more exciting all-bike adventures in the colourful world of Wheelford.”

Louise Bucknole, VP programming kids, ViacomCBS Network UK and Ireland, added: “We’re delighted to be welcoming back Ricky Zoom and his two-wheeled friends on Nick Jr. in June and and Milkshake! later in the year in the UK.

“It’s a fun and playful show which is a favourite among preschoolers, and we look forward to sharing their new adventures with our young viewers.”

Joining master toy partner TOMY on the growing licensee list is the likes of Penguin (story, activity, novelty books); Redan (magazines); Character World (bedding); MV Sports (wheeled toys); Ravensburger (puzzles and games); Cooneen (nightwear & socks); Blues (daywear); and Drew Pearson (accessories).

The supermarket giants have added Ricky Zoom into their preschool aisle following strong performance of the FSDU programme last Autumn/Winter. Other forthcoming toy highlights include the new interactive Maxwell’s Transforming Trailer Playset, which can be renovated into a mobile repair station and comes complete with both Maxwell and Ricky bikes.

Further product ranges from other licensees will roll out gradually throughout the year, bringing broader distribution.

Marketing activity has also been buoyant, with Ricky proving popular among parent influencers. A Dadsnet campaign to support Smyth’s Toys launch of the Speed & Stunt Play-set reached almost 408,000 via influencers and 558,000 via paid media, while a Ricky takeover on UKMums.TV hit almost 622,000 impressions, with a blogger reach of almost 296,000 and the site’s associated Twitter Frenzy reaching almost 392,000 unique accounts.

eOne’s Ricky Zoom speeds onto Channel 5’s Milkshake this April

Ricky Zoom, the newest animated pre-school IP from Entertainment One, is preparing to speed onto Channel 5’s multi-platform pre-school block, Milkshake, where is will air daily from April 20th this year.

To crank up excitement around the show’s terrestrial launch in the UK, Milkshake! is supporting with pre-promotional on-air exposure and social media support nearer the time of TX.

Entertainment One is backing its latest pre-school property with an investment in PR and digital marketing activity to drive tune-in. Building on the company’s previous success with music releases for Peppa Pig and PJ Masks, eOne is readying the digital release of three Ricky Zoom songs that will include an extended version of the theme tune and two all-new original songs.

The new songs will be available on streaming platforms from mid-April. A nationwide influencer outreach campaign spanning parenting influencers, with a combined platform of 1.2 million across the UK, will promote the positive brand values of fun and family to encourage co-viewing.

“Adding to our existing strong roster of international broadcasters we’re thrilled to be bringing Ricky Zoom to the number one weekday pre-school destination in the UK,” said eOne’s Monica Candiani, EVP, content sales, family and brands.

“The show is full of enjoyable all-bike adventures that will ignite young imaginations and we look forward to introducing the colourful world of Wheelford to future fans in the UK ahead of the consumer products rollout later this year.”

The launch of Ricky Zoom on Channel 5 follows a strong debut for the show last autumn on Nick Jr. in the UK where it has been viewed by nearly 1.5 million to date. The show will join Nick Jr.’s promotional slate in Easter with a seasonal episode special set to air for audiences during the school holidays.

The growing broadcast exposure will drive awareness for Ricky Zoom as eOne builds up to the consumer products rollout in autumn which will see additional toys released by master toy partner, TOMY.