Puppets of the BBC

Comics give voice to new kids' series

Caroline Aherne, Richard Ayoade, John Thomson and Doc Brown are all lending their voices to a new animated series for CBBC.

Strange Hill High – set in a neglected inner-city school ‘filled with fantastical secrets’ – is to be run by Josh Weinstein, who was previously showrunner on the seventh and eighth series of The Simpsons.

It has been created using ‘hypervynorama’, a new animation technique that combines Japanese vinyl toy design and puppetry with stop-motion animation and computer generated imagery.

Musical comedian Doc Brown takes the lead role of the quick-witted and street smart Mitchell Tanner, a new kid in school. IT Crowd star Ayoade plays his nerdy friend Templeton, while Emma Kennedy is his other friend, the confident Becky Butters.

Kennedy, who also wrote one of the episodes, said: ‘It's a show that's ostensibly about an odd little school where anything and everything weird and wonderful can happen, but at heart it's about three friends and how they stick by each other through thick and thin.

‘The best thing about it is its sense of energy and fun. I love the puppets, the sets are incredible and the storylines are incredibly inventive.’

The first series of 13 episodes airs this spring, but the BBC has already ordered a second series for 2014.

Weinstein, who has also worked on Futurama, added: ‘I've worked in animation my whole life and I've never seen a show as groundbreaking as Strange Hill High. And when the ground breaks at Strange Hill, you never know what will come out.’

Published: 24 Apr 2013

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