New pre-school show to premiere on Cbeebies featuring voices of Lenny Henry and Imelda Staunton.
Independent production company Kindle Entertainment will see its new pre-school offering - Big and Small - premiere on Cbeebies in the late autumn.
A co-production between Kindle and the 3J's Productions, produced in association with Treehouse in Canada, the show follows the adventures of Big and Small, two best friends, as they try to live together in a chaotic house and garden in the country.
The show aims to open children's minds to a variety of outlooks on the world. Each story revolves around the comedy of Big and Small's contrasting approaches to life, encouraging children to appreciate that people have many different ideas and opinions.
Voice talent will come from actor and comedian Lenny Henry for both Big and Small, while actress Imelda Staunton will be the voices of Big and Small's neighbours and friends, Ruby the mouse and Twiba the worm.
The Canadian series will feature the voice talent of puppet workshop The Grogs.
A long-term licensing programme has been developed to support the property which will focus on key aspects of the show, including music and the concept of perspective through the development of both big and small items.
The licensing programme is due to roll out at the end of 2008 and will initially include toys, apparel, music downloads and plush.
"Big and Small stands out in the kids' marketplace as a truly funny, clever show with immensely loveable characters that is set to win the hearts of both children and their parents - big and small people - alike," said Anne Brogan, founder and director of Kindle Entertainment. "Cbeebies provides the perfect platform to broadcast this high quality pre-school production and together we are committed to ensuring it achieves the success that it deserves."
Michael Carrington, controller of Cbeebies, added: "I can barely contain my excitement at bringing this brand new series to the BBC's youngest audiences. The idea is compelling, the scripts well crafted and Big and Small are hilarious - it's bound to be a winner."