Bitz & Bob
Pioneering new comedy adventure series inspiring preschoolers to engage with STEAM launches in March
Groundbreaking new CBeebies animated series Bitz & Bob is a comedy adventure with a twist: combining funny and inventive stories with key principles of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths) it aims to encourage preschoolers to get involved in crafting, engineering, experiments and exploration.
The 44 x 11’ series follows the colourful and fun antics of passionate inventor and creator, eight-year-old Bitz, her energetic and enthusiastic younger brother Bob and their toy friends: Bitz’s bestie, ardent seamstress Purl, practical jokers Zip & Pop, and high octane action figure Bevel, voiced by US comedian and actor Rob Delaney (Catastrophe) in his first major animated voice role.
In their amazing Treehouse maker-space playroom, Bitz and Bob use anything they can lay their hands on to create magical little worlds where their toys and creations come to life. A sheet over a chair becomes a Faraway Island; boxes, bottles and recycled objects make an awesome, sophisticated Craft City; a giant sandbox transforms into a Big Sandy Desert.
These and many more vivid and colourful locations provide the perfect backdrop for adventures – which never quite go according to plan! But just when disaster seems unavoidable, the inventive and resilient Bitz uses her remarkable “Engineer-o-vision” goggles to analyse what has gone wrong and visualise a solution. Inspired to re-invent, fix and create something new, Bitz blitzes the problem and saves the day!
A complementary short form live-action companion show, Bitz & Bob You Can Do It Too, (44 x 4’), provides children ways of experimenting with the interesting, fun, amazing, creations shown in the main series. As well as providing further bite-sized pieces of information on the specific engineering principles at work in each episode, it allows children to interact and extend the experiences, on and off the screen and across platforms.
With her unique “Steam Pink” style, a mix of girl power and steam punk chic, Bitz is designed to be a strong role model, especially as a character girls can relate to, inspiring them to want to be smart and creative just like her. Bitz loves to solve problems using crafty engineering and innovation, coming up with inventive solutions that empower her and her friends to help “invent a way to save the day!”
Bitz & Bob aims to provide positive influences that reinforce STEAM as exciting and accessible to all, encouraging a new generation to “Blitz it like Bitz.” By making the STEAM principles an integral part of funny and engaging adventures with a cast of lovable and relatable characters, the series hopes to change perceptions and instil young children with a passion for science and engineering. We are making them aware that STEAM is everywhere.
Alice Webb, Director BBC Children’s has a Masters degree in civil and environmental engineering and is also a chartered civil engineer. She says: “Our world is made up of a brilliant combination of art and science and I hope Bitz & Bob will show that. We want to convey that your imagination has no limits and you can make something happen, whoever you are.
It’s really important that girls are fired up about STEAM subjects because otherwise they are closing themselves off to lots of opportunities that they might have in the world and the world would be missing on out on a wonderful array of female talent.”
With a global writing team and the input of two STEAM experts from the sector in the UK and the US – Helen Heggie, Owner of Educational consultancy STEMFirst and Dr Lisa Regalla, Deputy Director of Maker Ed – the series explores the broad principles and science of engineering through creative play, crafting and invention.
Launching with an iPlayer exclusive on 8 March – International Women’s Day – Bitz & Bob begins on CBeebies on 12 March, during Science week.
The Bitz & Bob game is also launching on the same day on the CBeebies website. Children can test their engineering skills in a series of engaging interactive games.
Bitz & Bob is produced by BBC Children’s Productions and Boat Rocker Rights, and is animated in CGI by Jellyfish Pictures Ltd. Executive producers are Vanessa Amberleigh for CBeebies and Bob Higgins for Boat Rocker.