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Fimbles
Created by Sarah Hayes
Developed by BBC Broadcast
Written by Simon Davies
Alan MacDoanld
Jan Page
Lucinda Whiteley
Toby Rushton
Mike Watts
Sarah Hayes
Tamsin Heatley
Christopher Lillicrap
Directed by Helen Sheppard (50 episodes, 2002-2003)
Jamie Langton (3 episodes, 2002)
Vivienne Cozens(1 episode, 2002)
Julian Kemp (1 episode, 2002)
Ursula McCulloch (1 episode, 2002)
Starring Aidan Cook
Samantha Dodd
Wayne Forester
Leah Green
Kate Harbour
Tamsin Heatley
Matthew Lyons
Garry Rutter
Shelley Longworth
John Tobias
Gary Martin
Jules de Jongh
Philip Pope
Theme music composer Paul K Joyce
Composer(s) Paul K. Joyce
Kick Production
Philip Pope
Lester Barnes
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 200
Production
Executive producer(s) Clare Elstow
Mike Watts
David Hamliton
Producer(s) Lucinda Whiteley
Camera setup Ian Baldwin
Alan Beal
Paul Freeman
Steve Jellyman
and others
Running time 30 minutes
Production company(s) Novel Entertainment
Novel Finders Limited
BBC
Distributor BBC Worldwide
Release
Original network BBC Two, CBeebies
Picture format 16:9
Audio format Stereo
First shown in CBeebies
Original release 30 September 2002 (2002-09-30) – 24 September 2004 (2004-09-24)
Chronology
Related shows The Roly Mo Show

Fimbles is a British children's television series created and produced by Novel Entertainment. The series has 200 episodes, airing from 2002 to 2004 and in re-runs until 2009 on CBeebies and BBC2. The Fimbles are Fimbo, Florrie and Baby Pom, magical characters who all live in a bright, lush, and colourful place called Fimble Valley.

The programme has been broadcast in over 100 countries, including the US, Canada, China and all the countries in mainland Europe.

About

The series features three magical hippo-like creatures called the "Fimbles", who are portrayed by "skin" actors in complex, fluffy animatronic suits and all look quite similar apart from their colour and size. The characters explore Fimble Valley and can find things through a special "sixth sense". When the Tinkling Tree tinkles its bell-like blossoms, it makes the nose, fingers and topknot of one or more Fimbles twitch as they get the "Fimbling Feeling". This tells the character(s) that they are going to find something. It may be a natural phenomenon - a patch of sunlight for example, an everyday object, e.g. a tambourine, or something which would be totally inexplicable in the real world, such as a puddle of blue "goo". Whatever is found becomes the catalyst for the episode's adventures and the trigger for the Fimbles' creative play. The other characters featured are large scale puppets who normally help out the Fimbles with something.

The snouted and concentrically-ringed appearance of the Fimbles was based on the eponymous villains of Lucy Anna and the Finders, written and illustrated by Sarah Hayes. Although Hayes is cited in the credits of Fimbles, and she was involved in adapting the characters for the television series, the implacably omnivorous Finders (who, throughout the book, threaten to eat Lucy Anna) have nothing else in common with the Fimbles.

Characters

  • Fimbo - A yellow Fimble with green stripes. Fimbo is the oldest, tallest and the only male of the trio. He likes to play his Shimmi Shaker and eat crumble crackers. He is Operated by John Tobias, Steve Poole and Adam Blaug and voiced by Aidan Cook.
  • Florrie - A blue Fimble with purple stripes. She likes to sing songs and is normally seen with a doll that resembles a Fimble called "Little One". She is Operated by Jenny Hutchinson, Leah Green and Holli Hoffman and voiced by Shelley Longworth and then later Kate Harbour.
  • Baby Pom - A green Fimble with pink stripes. Being the youngest and smallest, she has a personality similar to that of a toddler. She generally follows the other Fimbles around their world and normally pushes a yellow wagon called the "Trundle Truck". She is Operated by Samantha Dodd and Denise Dove and voiced by Tamsin Heatley.
  • Roly Mo - A purple and green striped mole. He has a huge underground library, where he finds a book to show off to the Fimbles in every episode. He is Puppeteered by Neil Sterenberg and Lestyn Evans (assistant) and voiced by Wayne Forester.
  • Rockit - A blue tree frog who is normally seen hopping round and being quite inquisitive and energetic. He is Puppeteered by Simon Buckley and Katherine Smee and voiced by Wayne Forester.
  • Bessie - A plump pink bird who lives near the waterfall with Ribble. She normally gives out a summary at the end of the programme of what the Fimbles did in the episode. In the episode, "Yodelling Echo", it reveals she knows how to yodel. She is Puppeteered by Neil Sterenberg, Steven Kynman and Robert Skidmore (assistant) and voiced by Tamsin Heatley.
  • Ribble - An orange male fluffball bird with a light blue beak who is Bessie's son. He makes squeaks that the other characters can understand. He was given black eyes in later episodes. He is Operated by Garry Rutter, Dan Carlisle and Matthew Lyons and voiced by Tamsin Heatley.

Related shows and spin-offs

In 2004, The Roly Mo Show began airing on CBeebies. As with the original show, this series was also produced by Novel Entertainment and stars Roly Mo and a cast of other characters including Roly's niece Little Bo. The Roly Mo Show concentrates on literacy and books and is made as an educational programme.

Fimbly Songtime, a shortened version of the programme featuring only the songs, has also aired in the past. The programme has also erroneously been listed as Fimbles Songtime.

A radio series titled RockIt's Pocket, featuring the Rockit character, aired on the long-gone CBeebies Radio strand on BBC Radio 7 (now BBC Radio 4 Extra) in 2009.

The Fimbles also featured in a touring stage show for children called Fimbles Live! - It's a Party!, which was devised by the playwright and author David Wood CBE.

Horrid Henry, another Novel Entertainment program, has referenced the show and characters frequently throughout the series.

International airings

In the Republic of Ireland, Fimbles was broadcast on Network 2 (later changed to RTÉ2 in 2004) as part of a lineup of programmes for younger children called The Den and started airing on 20 January 2003.

In Australia from 3 February 2003 to 30 September 2008, Fimbles was broadcast on ABC and its third digital channel ABC2.

Fimbles (핌블핌블) has been extremely popular in South Korea, where KBS 2TV broadcast the program under partnership from the BBC from June 23, 2003 to October 29, 2004. Yoo Sang-won directed the Korean dub, which led the show to becoming well-known and liked among Koreans at the time because of its both fun and educational aspects.

As of 1 June 2007 Fimbles (粉宝乐园) is being broadcast in China on Shanghai Media Group's children's network HAHA TV. All 200 episodes are being shown sequentially and dubbed in Mandarin Chinese. As the show in its original format is only 19 minutes long, the show has been lengthened by 5 minutes for the Chinese market.

In Vietnam, since 2008, Fimbles is a part of the show 5 Minutes to Learn English Everyday (5 phút học [tiếng Anh] mỗi ngày), which is produced by HTV4 together with many famous English centers and international schools. However, in VBC, it is a separate show named Những chú heo con Fimbles.

From June 2008, the show has also been broadcast by Tata Sky DTH in India under partnership from the BBC on the country's variant of the CBeebies channel.

In Colombia from 2004 and 2007, it was broadcast by Señal Colombia.

In New Zealand, the show was played on TV2.

In South Africa, Fimbles began airing on SABC 1.

In Singapore, it was broadcast by Central and played it on their children's block Kids Central. The series aired in Singapore from 2003 to 2006 and then on Okto in 2011.

In Hong Kong, the series was screened on TVB Pearl.

In Malta, Fimbles was aired on TVM.

In Thailand, the English version of the series was broadcast on Thai cable television TrueVisions (originally known as UBC at the time) on their children's network UBC Spark.

The show has aired on Bang Bang in Albania under the title "Fimbëllsat", with re-runs continuing to air as recently as 2020. It is dubbed in Albanian.

Award nominations

  • BAFTA Children's Awards 2003
    • Nominated for Best Pre-school Live Action Series
  • BAFTA Children's Awards 2004
    • Nominated for Best Pre-school Live Action Series

Trivia

  • Roly Mo has appeared on The Weakest Link, a former British game show, in a puppets special. He was voted off in the 5th round (he said he spent too much time reading books and needed to be watching good television programmes), but said he would still be seen as a winner by the Fimbles even though he lost because it was the taking part that mattered. Anne Robinson also asked Roly Mo how irritating the Fimbles were, and at the request of both Anne Robinson and the audience, Roly Mo and the other puppets sang the song "When you take a look inside a Book".
  • In common with many children's programmes, the Fimbles very occasionally contains a subtle joke aimed at adults who are accompanying children in watching the programme. One such instance of this is where Ribble gets sticky bits of paper stuck on and around his beak. Bessie exclaims "Ribble, Ribble, your face is a mess!", a reference to the lyrics of the David Bowie song "Rebel Rebel".
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