BBC bolsters children's portfolio

Worldwide division gets global rights to two new pre-school shows.
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BBC Worldwide has been awarded the global rights to Harry and Toto and 3rd and Bird.

Harry and Toto (pictured) is 26x10-minute flash animation series for pre-schoolers from Handle and Spout Productions. BBCW has secured the world TV rights (excluding the US, non-French speaking Canada and Poland), plus all other world rights such as DVD, interactive and merchandise.

Created by former executive producer of Cbeebies, Paul Shuttleworth, the show is due to air in the spring.

Meanwhile, 3rd and Bird is a 26x30-minute animation series from independent production company Little Airplane. The deal sees BBCW take on cross-media rights including global programme distribution, merchandising and DVD.

It is due to make its debut on Cbeebies in autumn 2008.

Gill Pritchard, director of children's at BBCW, said: "We are delighted to add these fantastic new shows to our already strong portfolio. Both programmes have the quality you would expect from a Cbeebies programme, along with truly unique visual styles which will translate fantastically well into merchandise."

Elsewhere, BBC Worldwide has appointed Philip Fleming as head of communicatons for its home entertainment business. This incorporates Worldwide's children's and licensing department, as well as its audio and music division (which comprises BBC Audio Books, record and track licensing, radio and TV programme sales and music publishing).

Fleming will also oversee communications for the company's joint ventures including 2Entertain (DVD), Ebury (books), Ragdoll Worldwide and Penguin.

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