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Byline: Marion McMullen

WARWICKSHIRE gave the world the Teletubbies and is now launching two new stars on children's TV.

Abney and Teal are the latest characters from Stratford-based Ragdoll Productions and are making their debut in the UK on CBeebies.

The award-winning company has a record of international success with young viewers and TV hits include In The Night Garden, Rosie and Jim, Brum, Tots TV, Boohbah and Teletubbies characters Tinky Winky, Dipsy, Laa-Laa and Po.

The Adventures Of Abney & Teal comes from series creator Joel Stewart.

Abney and Teal live on an island in the middle of a lake, in the middle of a park, in the middle of the bustle of the big city. They share their island with Neep, Bop, the Poc-Pocs and Toby-Dog.

Ragdoll founder and creative director Anne Wood said: "I have long been an admirer of Joel's picture books, with their distinct brand of gentle, fantastical humour and exquisite drawing style.

"Joel is well known for his illustrations for Hans Christian Andersen fairytales and for his Dexter Bexley And The Big Blue Beastie picture books, but it was the publication of Addis Berner Bear Forgets that first prompted me to contact Joel."

Olivier award-winning actor Adrian Scarborough, who played Hamlet at the Belgrade Theatre in Coventry, provides the voice of Abney and Shingai Shoniwa, the lead singer of The Noisettes, is the voice of Teal.

Adrian said: "The programme oozes quality and charm. Abney was an enjoyable challenge, with the absurdity of his antics and the wacky things he does - he's a class act.

"Really imaginative children's TV is profoundly important for kids and, dare one say it, their parents to."

Ragdoll have made 52 episodes for CBeebies and the Warwickshire company's programmes are currently watched by youngsters in more than 120 countries around the world.

The Teletubbies has been BBC Worldwide's most successful export and Tinky Winky, Dipsy, Laa-Laa and Po have been translated into 45 languages. The show ended in 1999 after 365 episodes.


NEW SHOW: The Adventures Of Abney & Teal and Teletubbies, right
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Oct 1, 2011
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