- Something Special (TV series)
Screenshot from title credits from series 4
Also known as Something Special: Out and About Genre Children's television series Starring Justin Fletcher Language(s) English No. of series 4 Broadcast Original channel CBeebies Original run 2005 – present External links Website
Something Special is a children's television programme produced and broadcast by the BBC. The producer is Allan Johnston who worked as a teacher of children with special needs before joining the BBC in 1989. It is designed to teach children signing supported by Makaton gestures, and is specifically aimed at children with delayed learning and communication difficulties. It is aired on CBeebies (both the separate channel and CBeebies on BBC One and BBC Two).
It is presented by Justin Fletcher ("Justin" from Tikkabilla), and features various other characters (also played by Justin) and clips of disabled children. Justin speaks as well as signing, and a spoken narrative is provided over the clips of children.
The characters played by Justin (other than himself) are the Tumble Family: Mr Tumble, an adult who himself displays delayed learning and communication difficulties, Grandad Tumble and Baby Tumble. Other members of the Tumble family to have made recent appearances include two Aunts - Polly and Suki (as in the popular nursery rhyme "Polly Put the Kettle On"), Lord Tumble and King Tumble.
The name of the programme derives from the idea that all children, irrespective of their position on the learning spectrum, are special.
A new series for 2006 started on 17 September 2006 and features the same characters as previous series. Mr Tumble can be seen in a school in the opening credits.
- 1 Series 1 (2005) and 2 (2006)
- 2 Series 3 "Out and About" (2008)
- 3 Mr Tumble shorts (2009)
- 4 Series 4 Out and About (2010)
- 5 Allegations of indecent sign-language
- 6 Awards
- 7 Video and DVD Releases
- 8 External links
- 9 References
Series 1 (2005) and 2 (2006)
The series details are from the BBC's Programmes listings.
Each episode has a duration of approximately 15 minutes.
Please note that the first broadcast on iPlayer is not the original first broadcast date.
Series 1 episode list
First broadcast on iPlayer Title Details 18 May 2007 Farm What animals are on the farm? 24 May 2007 Food Part 2 Mr Tumble has woken up and makes breakfast. 25 May 2007 Family Mr Tumble has woken up baby Tumble. 28 May 2007 Transport Join in with Mr Tumble as he drives a car, flies a plane and chugs along on a train. 29 May 2007 Colours This programme shows you how to sign red, blue and yellow. 30 May 2007 All about Me About the body 31 May 2007 Weather The weather is always changing so Mr Tumble wears clothes to suit the conditions. 1 Jun 2007 Under the Sea Find out how to sign different underwater animals. 4 Jun 2007 Jungle Animals Find out how to different jungle animals. 6 Jun 2007 Shops Mr Tumble has been shopping, and he has bought a special pair of shoes. 7 Jun 2007 What I Like Mr Tumble shows us what he likes to do. 8 Jun 2007 Music Making music with the instruments and members of the Mandeville School band. 11 Jun 2007 How Do I Feel? Mr Tumble is going on a bear hunt, and he feels brave and very excited. 28 Jun 2007 Clothes Different clothes. Mr Tumble has some amazing shoes, including a special pair for dancing. 2 Jul 2007 Pets Find out how to sign a variety of animals with Mr Tumble. Plus, a trip to a pet shop. 4 Jul 2007 Moving Mr Tumble runs, jumps and pretends to swim, as well as learning useful signs. 5 Jul 2007 Garden The children from Oakleigh School organise a visit to their sensory garden. 11 Jul 2007 School Tyra likes going to school. Find out what Tyra and her friends like doing there. Note that the BBC website sometimes calls this episode "Something Special" 13 May 2009 Food Find out about food - and go on a shopping trip.
Series 2 episode list
First broadcast on iPlayer Title Details 18 May 2007 Nursery Rhymes and Songs 3 In a magical world of nursery rhymes, Justin meets a sailor who went to sea, sea, sea. 21 May 2007 Baby Mr Tumble is busy looking after a toy baby. 21 May 2007 Doctor Dolly is sick, so Mr Tumble calls for a doctor. 23 May 2007 Art Justin decides to paint a picture. 24 May 2007 Opposites Children playing in a playground go up and down, inside and outside. 25 May 2007 Nursery Rhymes and Songs 4 Mr Tumble is trying to sleep, but there are five in the bed - Mr Tumble and four teddies. 11 Jun 2007 Birds Justin looks at different birds. 12 Jun 2007 Meals Justin has woken up and it's time for breakfast: cereal, toast and a lovely boiled egg. 13 Jun 2007 Toys Mr Tumble has a great idea. He wants to have a tea party with some of his favourite toys, but gets into a bit of a mess. 14 Jun 2007 Animals Justin looks at different animals 18 Jun 2007 Mini Beasts Mr Tumble wants to dress up as a butterfly and do a butterfly dance. 18 Jun 2007 Nursery Rhymes and Songs 5 Mr Tumble's Aunties have come to tea but he has forgotten the biscuits. 18 Jun 2007 The Park Mr Tumble steps through a magic door and goes off to the park for a picnic. 20 Jun 2007 Under, On and In Big Teddy wants to go swimming, but can't find his bag, goggles and trunks. 21 Jun 2007 Holiday Mr Tumble has gone on holiday to the seaside, but he's gone at the wrong time of the year. 22 Jun 2007 Nursery Rhymes and Songs 2 Exploring a jungle in a magical world, Justin meets a tiger, a snake and a monkey. 26 Jun 2007 Seasons Justin explains that every year there are four seasons and explores each one. 27 Jun 2007 Shapes Mr Tumble is busy making a face from shapes, but he hasn't got enough shapes. 22 Jul 2007 People Who Help Us The toys want to play school, so Mr Tumble joins in and pretends to do several jobs. 23 Aug 2007 Nursery Rhymes and Songs 1 Justin enters a magical world of nursery rhymes and songs. Mr Tumble dresses as an egg. 29 Aug 2007 Vegetables Mr Tumble finds an enormous carrot growing in the ground. How can he pull it up? 9 Mar 2008 Toys 2 Mr Tumble likes his new Jack in the Box toy and decides to become one himself. 20 May 2008 Birthday It's Grandad Tumble's birthday, so Mr Tumble is going to do a magic show for him. 29 Oct 2008 Baby Animals Justin meets a puppy.
Series 3 "Out and About" (2008)
In 2008, a new series of Something Special, again presented by Justin Fletcher, was produced. 'Guests' included Mr Tumble, Granddad Tumble, Aunt Polly, Aunt Sukey and Cliff Tumble (a parody of Cliff Richard) - the latter perhaps performed for Justin's father, Guy Fletcher, who wrote songs for Cliff Richard. This series was made at various locations across the UK, including Wales, Northern Ireland and England.
Each episode has a duration of approximately 20 minutes.
Series 3 episode list
First broadcast on iPlayer Title Details 21 Jan 2008 Mountain Justin meets Jack and his teacher on Mount Snowdon in Wales. Meanwhile, Mr Tumble wants his toy duck to have a paddle in a mountain lake. 22 Jan 2008 Vet Justin meets Cheyenne and Savannah, who have taken their guinea pig, Patch, to the vet in Wokingham. Meanwhile, Mr Tumble decides to become a vet and help his animal toys feel better. 24 Jan 2008 Beach Justin spends a day on a beach in Dorset with Chloe and Sophie. Meanwhile, Mr Tumble encounters Granddad Tumble at the beach. 25 Jan 2008 School Justin goes to a school and meets Noor, who is in the hydrotherapy pool, and spends the day with her. Meanwhile, Mr Tumble plays some musical instruments to children in a classroom. 28 Jan 2008 Railway Set at Corfe Castle station on the Swanage Railway (a heritage steam railway in Dorset), Justin meets Daniel, Callum and Miriam, and goes on a train ride with them. Meanwhile, Mr Tumble decides to work at the station. 30 Jan 2008 Football Justin meets Lily-Sue and Curtis at Craven Cottage (Fulham Football Club), Craven Cottage and play football with them. Meanwhile, Mr Tumble and Granddad Tumble play football with each other in a garden. 31 Jan 2008 Camping Justin meets Harry and his family camping in the New Forest. Meanwhile, Mr Tumble has trouble setting up his tent to go camping. 1 Feb 2008 Castle Justin visits Carrickfergus Castle in Northern Ireland, and meets Jack, Caroline and Ross. Meanwhile, Mr Tumble dons a crown, and pretends to be a King. 25 Feb 2008 Farm Set on a farm in Dundonald near Belfast, Justin meets Ernie and Samantha. Meanwhile, Mr Tumble decides to help out on the farm. 26 Feb 2008 Wood Justin meets Leah and Aidan in a wood near London. Meanwhile, Mr Tumble has a teddy bears' picnic in the woods. 27 Feb 2008 Harbour Justin meets Jake and Stuey at Weymouth Harbour, where they have a boat ride. Meanwhile, Mr Tumble and Granddad Tumble try to do some painting at the harbour. 10 Sep 2008 High Street Justin meets Gary and Bridget in Enniskillen High Street, where they visit various shops. Meanwhile, Mr Tumble goes to the library, and upsets Aunt Polly and Aunt Sukey with his loudness. Mr Tumble introduces various members of his family via a book found in the library and a song is performed by Cliff Tumble (a parody of Cliff Richard). 16 Sep 2008 Market Justin meets Ross and goes shopping with him at a Belfast market. Meanwhile, Mr Tumble sells Granddad Tumble and Aunt Sukey some items on his market stall.
Mr Tumble shorts (2009)
From 2009, CBeebies occasionally showed short programmes consisting of the Mr Tumble sections from the various episodes, without the sections featuring Justin.
Series 4 Out and About (2010)
Series 4 of the show follows the Out and About format of series 3, in a "new, daily, week-day, year-round slot designed to provide continuity for its loyal audience" and introduced a new character, Lord Tumble.
Series 4 episode list
Note: The BBC iPlayer site calls this "Series 5"
First broadcast Title Details 8 March 2010 Airport Justin and his friends, Rhys and Violet, visit Bembridge Airport on the Isle of Wight and fly in an aeroplane. They look for a helicopter, a fire engine and a pilot. Mr Tumble tries to fly, with some help from Granddad Tumble. 9 March 2010 City Justin and his friends George and Georgia head off to Manchester city centre. They look for a double-decker bus, some shops and a fountain. Mr Tumble has to put on the right shoes and coat before he can catch his bus. He misses the bus, but Aunt Polly gives him a ride to the city on her bike. 10 March 2010 Garden Centre Justin and his friends, Oskar and Muzzammil go to a garden centre. They look for a wheelbarrow, a yellow plant and flower pot. Mr Tumble looks for a hole to put his flower into. Lord Tumble is first introduced in this episode, playing golf. 11 March 2010 By the Sea Justin and his friends, Fahim and Violet, are by the sea in the Isle of Wight. They look for a chairlift (in Alum Bay), a lighthouse (on The Needles) and a game. They visit the lighthouse in a boat. Mr Tumble is a pirate looking for his treasure with some help from Granddad Tumble and Aunt Polly. 12 March 2010 Hospital Justin visits Sheffield Children's Hospital, where he sees Kieran who is going to have an operation on his ear. They look for a nurse, some pyjamas, and some toast. Mr Tumble visits Grandad Tumble in hospital, bringing some presents with him. 15 March 2010 Houseboat Justin and his friends, Tobias and Lois, go boating in a houseboat on the Norfolk Broads. They look for a suitcase, a windmill (the Horning Windmill), and a duck. Mr Tumble tries to find a good place to put up his tent, but gets in the way of Aunt Polly and Grandad Tumble. 16 March 2010 Leisure Centre Justin and his friends, Chantelle, Aimee and Molly, go to a Leisure centre. They look for a swimming pool, a float, and a bouncy castle. Mr Tumble takes part in a Sports day, competing with Aunt Polly for a throwing competition, Aunt Sukie for a bouncing competition and Grandpa Tumble for the egg and spoon race, with Lord Tumble acting as a judge. Mr Tumble fails to win a trophy, losing at all these events, but is given an egg cup for taking part. 17 March 2010 Animal Park Justin and his friends William, Stephie and Dylan visit an animal park on the Isle of Wight (Amazon World Zoo). They look for a snake, some fruit and vegetables and an owl. Mr Tumble look for his animal - he finds Aunt Sookie's duck and Lord Tumble's rabbit, and discovers that Granddad Tumble has his animal (a tiger). 18 March 2010 Playdate Justin and his friend Courtney go to visit Alfie and Frankie. They look for a sitting room, some stairs and a kitchen. They dance, play musical statues and make some sandwiches. Mr Tumble's cousin, Cool Tumble comes to visit and they play musical bumps, build dens and play Hide-and-seek. 19 March 2010 Animal Rescue Justin and his friends Tyrese, Casey and Jordan visit Trindledown Farm in Berkshire. They look for a spotty dog, a rabbit and a ginger cat. Mr Tumble looks after Aunt Sookie's dog 22 March 2010 Bike Ride Justin and his friends Alfie and Frankie visit Bushey Heath in West London to go on a bike ride. They look for a bicycle, a stream and a bench. Mr Tumble is pretending to be a postman, so he uses a bicycle to deliver parcels to Lord Tumble, Aunt Polly and Grandad Tumble. 23 March 2010 Creative Walk Justin and his friends Saracen, Isaac and Lauren go for a walk around a farm to get ideas for their big farm picture. They look for a sheep, a pig and a donkey. Mr Tumble paints a picture. 24 March 2010 Supermarket Justin and his friends Entesar and Adam go shopping at the supermarket (Asda). They look for a shopping trolley, a pineapple and some bowls. Mr Tumble brings his shopping home with help from Lord Tumble - but Lord Tumble puts things in the wrong places. At the start of the programme, Mr Tumble is seen in Frogmore, Devon. 25 March 2010 Butterfly Justin and his friends Toni Clarice and Poppy visit a Butterfly World, Isle of Wight. They look for a caterpillar, a red flower and a café. Mr Tumble tries to film a butterfly with his new video camera, but it keeps flying away - thanks to Grandad Tumble's tricks! 26 March 2010 Drive Justin and his friends, Felix, William and Jack travel on a school bus. They look for a school bus, a car wash and a playground. Mr Tumble cleans his car - using bubbles from Grandad Tumble's bath!
Allegations of indecent sign-language
In March 2007 it was alleged by an employee of the Royal National Institute for the Deaf (although not officially in that role, but as a concerned parent) that the show's introduction includes Fletcher signing what was described as "an English word of Anglo-Saxon origins for making love in British Sign Language" (although he admitted that the signs for that word and for Happy are similar). Both Makaton and the BBC denied these claims, pointing out that Something Special does not use British Sign Language and that in the Makaton language, no such sign exists for the claimed profanity.  It did earn the "Worst Person in the World" award on Countdown with Keith Olberman on MSNBC March 20, 2007 for the notice. 
- Royal Television Society Educational Television Awards 2004
- Awarded Best Early Years Programme (for the episode Garden)
- BAFTA Children's Awards 2005
- Awarded 'Best Pre-school Live Action Series
- BAFTA Children's Awards 2007
- Nominated for Best Presenter (Justin Fletcher)
- BAFTA Children's Awards 2008
- Awarded Best Presenter (Justin Fletcher)
Video and DVD Releases
- 'Something Special - Favourite Things' comprising the episodes Toys, Music, Colours, Food and What I Like (BBC Active, 2005, ISBN 0-563-51646-1)
- 'Something Special - Pets and Other Animals' comprising the episodes Pets, A Farm, Gardens, Under the Sea and Jungle Animals (BBC Active, 2006, ISBN 978-0563-51647-7)
- 'Something Special - Where I Live' comprising the episodes Where I Live, All About Me, Food, Moving and Family (BBC Active, 2006, ISBN 978-0563-51641-5)
- ^ "BBC - CBeebies Programmes - Something Special - Series". http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006m8q4/series. Retrieved February 2010.
- ^ "Network TV BBC Week 10: Monday 8 March 2010". BBC. 22 February 2010. http://www.bbc.co.uk/pressoffice/proginfo/tv/2010/wk10/mon.shtml#mon_special. Retrieved 1 March 2010.
- ^ Metro Article
- ^ Worst: Mr. Tumbe's Finger Fumble, Countdown with Keith Olbermann, MSNBC.com, 2007-03-20
- ^ "Royal Television Society - Educational Television Awards 2004". Royal Television Society. http://www.rts.org.uk/Info_page_two_pic_2_det.asp?art_id=6979&sec_id=3531. Retrieved 17 March 2010.
- ^ "Past Winners and Nominees - Children's - Awards - 2005". BAFTA. http://www.bafta.org/awards/childrens/nominations/?year=2005. Retrieved 17 March 2010.
- ^ "Past Winners and Nominees - Children's - Awards - 2007". BAFTA. http://www.bafta.org/awards/childrens/nominations/?year=2007. Retrieved 17 March 2010.
- ^ "Past Winners and Nominees - Children's - Awards - 2008". BAFTA. http://www.bafta.org/awards/childrens/nominations/?year=2008. Retrieved 17 March 2010.
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