Star-Studded CBeebies Bedtime Library Coming To iPlayer

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In a significant move that promises to transform bedtime routines across the UK, the BBC has announced the creation of a comprehensive digital library for CBeebies Bedtime Stories on BBC iPlayer.

This initiative marks the first time families will have the opportunity to explore an extensive archive of beloved episodes on demand.

Imagine tucking in with tales read by the likes of Harry Styles, Tom Hardy, and Dolly Parton.

The CBeebies Bedtime Stories digital library brings these stars and more into homes nationwide, offering an unparalleled collection of stories that promise to enchant and soothe young listeners at bedtime.

CBeebies Bedtime Stories

The decision to release hundreds of episodes from the CBeebies archive onto BBC iPlayer comes in response to widespread demand for more accessible children’s content.

Although some popular and recent episodes of CBeebies Bedtime Stories were already accessible on iPlayer and the channel’s YouTube page, hundreds of older stories had not been available online until now

This expansion not only enriches the existing catalogue but also brings some of the world’s most renowned stars into the bedtime routines of families nationwide.

CBeebies Bedtime Stories: The Nation’s Sleep Helper

CBeebies Bedtime Stories is a cherished segment of the BBC’s CBeebies channel (which is available on Freeview, Freesat and the pay-TV platforms), designed to wind down the day with a soothing story for children across the UK.

CBeebies Bedtime Stories Dolly Parton
Dolly Parton on CBeebies Bedtime Stories (Photo: BBC)

Since its inception in 2002, the programme has become an integral part of the bedtime routine for countless families, offering a diverse range of stories read by various guest readers, from celebrities to public figures.

Each episode features a guest reader who shares a children’s book, aiming to not only entertain but also instil a love of reading in young viewers.

The stories chosen cover a broad spectrum of themes and styles, catering to the wide-ranging interests and imaginations of its young audience.

Over the years, CBeebies Bedtime Stories has embraced inclusivity and innovation.

It has introduced stories read in British Sign Language (read by Strictly Come Dancing champion Rose Ayling-Ellis), utilised Eye Gaze technology to enable those with physical disabilities to tell stories, and even ventured into space for a special reading by astronaut Tim Peake.

The programme has also been a platform for representation, featuring the first royal reader, Catherine, Princess of Wales, and celebrating diversity with readings by LGBTQ+ couples and stories that reflect a wide array of cultures and experiences.

CBeebies Bedtime Stories Coming To Libraries

Coinciding with the iPlayer library announcement is the launch of a new partnership between CBeebies Bedtime Stories and BookTrust, the UK’s largest children’s reading charity.

This collaboration aims to foster a love of reading by establishing unique reading corners in libraries across the UK.

The initiative started with a special event at Blackpool Central Library, featuring a live reading by Strictly Come Dancing star Carlos Gu, alongside CBeebies House favourites Ben Cajee and Dodge the Dog.

The event also saw appearances by beloved characters such as Bluey and Supertato, as well as contributions from poet Mike Garry and illustrator Ruth Hearson.

CBeebies Bedtime Stories trust
Photo: BBC

Over the years, CBeebies Bedtime Stories has become a staple of family evening routines, featuring many star-studded guests and inspiring a passion for reading.

The programme has welcomed a diverse range of celebrity readers over the years, including Harry Styles, Reese Witherspoon, Tom Hardy, and Sir Elton John, among others.

The move to make the back-catalogue of CBeebies Bedtime Stories available on BBC iPlayer follows its proven success with audiences.

Episodes featuring Tom Hardy and Harry Styles, in particular, have seen remarkable viewership, with Hardy’s stories being requested over one million times and Styles’ episode becoming the top-rated CBeebies show on the platform.

However, don’t go running to iPlayer just yet – the digital library will be accessible from World Book Day, Thursday, March 7.

BBC iPlayer is available on most streaming devices and Smart TVs sold in the UK, as well as on mobile phones, tablets, and via the web.

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