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Something Special (TV series) facts for kids

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Something Special
Genre Children's television series
Written by Allan Johnston, Phillip Hawthorn
Directed by Allan Johnston, Michael Towner, Luke Howard
Presented by Justin Fletcher (2003–20)
Nigel Clarke (2021–)
Composer(s) Archie Brown
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English, makaton
No. of series 12
No. of episodes 244
Executive producer(s) Sue Nott (season 1), Clare Elstow
Producer(s) Allan Johnston
Editor(s) Gareth Heal, Stephen Young
Running time
  • 15 minutes (series 1–2)
  • 20 minutes (series 3–12)
Original network BBC Two
Original release 1 September 2003 (2003-09-01) – present

Something Special is a British children's television programme presented by Justin Fletcher. It was created and co-directed by Allan Johnston. It is broadcast by the BBC, debuting on 9 August 2004. It is designed to introduce children to Makaton signing, and is specifically aimed at children with delayed learning and communication difficulties. It is aired on the CBeebies channel and is currently the longest running CBeebies programme and the longest running preschool series in Britain. In the past, it was also broadcast as part of the CBeebies programme strand on BBC One and BBC Two.

The name of the programme derives from the idea that all children, irrespective of their position on the learning spectrum, are special. The format of the show has evolved considerably since the original series. In 2012, a new series, "Something Special – We're All Friends" started, introducing some minor changes to the "Out and About" format. This format change has also included a change in location, and introduced the Tumble Tab, a personalised iPad showing the "special things" to look for.


It is presented by Justin Fletcher ("Justin") and features various other characters and clips of children with disabilities. Justin speaks as well as signing, and a spoken narrative is provided over the clips of children.

The other characters played by Fletcher are the Tumble Family: Mr Tumble, a clown who himself displays delayed learning and communication difficulties, Grandad Tumble, Barry Tumble and Baby Tumble. Other members of the Tumble family to have made appearances include two Aunts – Polly and Suki (as in the popular nursery rhyme "Polly Put the Kettle On"), Lord Tumble and King Tumble.

In series 2, Justin meets a friend named Guy H Pickle, they dance around a mulberry bush.

The creator and producer is Allan Johnston, who worked as a teacher of children with special needs before joining the BBC in 1989, with an important role in the show.

In series 11, 3 animal characters are introduced to the series, Spotty the Horse, who is Mr Tumble's horse that has appeared in the episodes Animals and Animal Keeper, Dennis the T-Rex who is the dinosaur who has only appeared in the episode Dinosaurs, The T-Rex is also a display at Paultons Park where it was filmed, and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer who appears for a short period of time in the episode A magical Christmas.


In 2016, a new series, "Something Special – We're All Friends" starring Justin Fletcher as Mr Tumble as The Unsmiling Principle featuring Mr Tumble, which sees the Mr Tumble, and introduced the "Tumble Tap in Spotty Bag", and follows him throughout his early life. Series 10 was Filmed from August 2015 to October 2015
In March 2016, a theatrical production starring Justin Fletcher as Mr Tumble and Ronni Ancona as The Unsmiling Principle featuring Mr Tumble was performed, which sees the Mr Tumble character as a baby and as a young boy, and follows him throughout his early life.
In 2018, a new series, "Something Special – We're All Friends" starring Justin Fletcher as Mr Tumble as The Unsmiling Principle featuring Mr Tumble, which sees the Mr Tumble, and introduced the "Tumble Tap in Spotty Bag", and follows him throughout his early life. Series 11 Was Filmed from July 2017 to September 2017 The Christmas Special Part 2 was Filmed in November 2017 the Prom was Filmed in June 2018
Series 12 (Something Special – We're All Friends) (2020)
Series 12 was filmed from July 2019 to September 2019. The Diwali special was filmed in October 2020, just before the 2020 Hederabad floods.


Series 1
Episode First broadcast Title
1 1 September 2003 Pets
2 2 September 2003 Weather
3 3 September 2003 Moving
4 4 September 2003 Garden
5 5 September 2003 Farm
6 8 September 2003 Toys Part I
7 9 September 2003 Clothes Part I
8 10 September 2003 School
9 11 September 2003 Food Part I
10 12 September 2003 Family
11 15 September 2003 Transport
12 16 September 2003 Colours
13 17 September 2003 All About Me
14 18 September 2003 Food Part II
15 19 September 2003 Under the Sea
16 22 September 2003 Jungle Animals
17 23 September 2003 Where I Live
18 24 September 2003 Shops
19 25 September 2003 What I Like
20 26 September 2003 Music
Series 2
Episode First broadcast Title
1 3 September 2007 Birds
2 4 September 2007 Meals
3 5 September 2007 Toys Part II
4 6 September 2007 Animals
5 7 September 2007 Nursery Rhymes and Songs 1
6 8 September 2007 Mini Beasts
7 9 September 2007 Birthday
8 10 September 2007 Under, On and In
9 11 September 2007 Holiday
10 12 September 2007 Nursery Rhymes and Songs 2
11 13 September 2007 Vegetables
12 14 September 2007 Seasons
13 15 September 2007 Shapes
14 16 September 2007 Clothes Part II
15 17 September 2007 Nursery Rhymes and Songs 3
16 18 September 2007 Baby
17 19 September 2007 Doctor
18 20 September 2007 Art
19 21 September 2007 Opposites
20 22 September 2007 Nursery Rhymes and Songs 4
21 23 September 2007 How Do I Feel?
22 24 September 2007 Baby Animals
23 25 September 2007 People Who Help Us
24 26 September 2007 The Park
25 27 September 2007 Nursery Rhymes and Songs 5
Series 3
Episode First broadcast Title Details
1 13 April 2009 Farm Justin is on a farm.
2 14 April 2009 Wood Justin is off to explore a wood.
3 15 April 2009 Harbour Justin travels to Weymouth harbour.
4 16 April 2009 Castle Justin travels to Carrickfergus Castle.
5 17 April 2009 Stables Justin visits stables in Northern Ireland.
6 20 April 2009 Mountain Justin is walking up a Mountain.
7 21 April 2009 Vet Justin is at the vet.
8 22 April 2009 High Street Justin is in Enniskillen in Northern Ireland.
9 23 April 2009 Beach It is a sunny day and Justin is at the beach.
10 24 April 2009 School Justin goes to school.
11 27 April 2009 Railway Justin arrives at a railway station.
12 28 April 2009 Market Justin visits St. George's Market in Belfast.
13 29 April 2009 Football Justin visits Craven Cottage.
14 30 April 2009 Camping Justin is at a campsite in the New Forest.
15 1 May 2009 Theme Park Justin goes to have lots of fun at the Theme Park.
Series 4
Episode First broadcast Title Details
1 8 March 2010 Airport Mr Tumble tries to fly, with some help from Granddad Tumble.
2 9 March 2010 City 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.
3 10 March 2010 Garden Centre Mr Tumble looks for a hole to put his flower into. Lord Tumble is first introduced in this episode, playing golf.
4 11 March 2010 By The Sea Mr Tumble is a pirate looking for his treasure with some help from Granddad Tumble and Aunt Polly.
5 12 March 2010 Hospital Mr Tumble visits Grandad Tumble in hospital, bringing some presents with him.
6 15 March 2010 Houseboat Mr Tumble tries to find a good place to put up his tent, but gets in the way of Aunt Polly and Grandad Tumble.
7 16 March 2010 Leisure Centre 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.
8 17 March 2010 Animal Park 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).
9 18 March 2010 Playdate Mr Tumble's cousin, Cool Tumble comes to visit and they play musical bumps, build dens and play Hide-and-seek.
10 19 March 2010 Animal Rescue Mr Tumble looks after Aunt Sookie's dog.
11 22 March 2010 Bike Ride Mr Tumble is pretending to be a postman, so he uses a bicycle to deliver parcels to Lord Tumble, Aunt Polly and Grandad Tumble.
12 23 March 2010 Creative Walk Mr Tumble paints a picture.
13 24 March 2010 Supermarket 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.
14 25 March 2010 Butterfly Mr Tumble tries to film a butterfly with his new video camera, but it keeps flying away – thanks to Grandad Tumble's tricks!
15 26 March 2010 Drive Mr Tumble cleans his car – using bubbles from Grandad Tumble's bath!
Series 5
Episode First broadcast Title Details
1 11 October 2010 Nature Trail Mr Tumble goes fishing with Big Teddy.
2 12 October 2010 Play Mr Tumble is playing some games of his own with Grandad Tumble and Lord Tumble.
3 13 October 2010 Sport Aunt Polly, Lord Tumble and Grandad Tumble show Mr Tumble how to do his exercises.
4 14 October 2010 Island Mr Tumble is visiting his friend Fisherman Tumble and helping him get ready to go out on his fishing boat.
5 15 October 2010 Festival Grandad Tumble puts on a concert for Mr Tumble and the toys!
6 18 October 2010 London Mr Tumble has lots of fun at home with his London book.
7 19 October 2010 Art Mr Tumble paints a surprise for Grandad Tumble.
8 20 October 2010 Baby Mr Tumble gets ready for a very special baby visitor of his own.
9 21 October 2010 Village Fete Mr Tumble holds his own Village Fete for the toys!
10 22 October 2010 Big Animals Mr Tumble has a very special job – cleaning out Harry the Hamster's cage. But who is looking after Harry?
11 25 October 2010 Music Mr Tumble wants to be a pop star after watching his favourite singer Cliff Tumble on the TV.
12 26 October 2010 Strawberry Picking Mr Tumble is very hungry and goes looking for fruit in the garden.
13 27 October 2010 Cooking Mr Tumble is making something very special too – Grandad Tumble's lunch.
14 28 October 2010 Sleepover Mr Tumble is having a sleepover of his own in his garden.
15 29 October 2010 Routines Mr Tumble shows us what he does before he goes to bed.
16 22 November 2010 Birthday Party Back at the Tumble house there's a party going on too – a surprise party for Lord Tumble.
17 23 November 2010 Shopping Mr Tumble is doing his washing and needs to find some spare clothes to wear while it is drying.
18 24 November 2010 Cafe Mr Tumble opens his new Cafe and we are introduced to the all new Chef Tumble!
19 25 November 2010 Forest Art Mr Tumble is in his forest looking for animals from inside his den!
20 26 November 2010 Park Mr Tumble is trying to find a boat of his own to go on a sea adventure, but who will help him find one?
21 16 December 2010 A Christmas Special It's Christmas and Mr Tumble, Lord Tumble and Grandad Tumble are decorating the Tumble house.


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)

BAFTA Children’s Awards 2009 Awarded Best Presenter (Justin Fletcher) BAFTA Children’s Awards 2010 Awarded Best Presenter (Justin Fletcher) BAFTA Children’s Awards 2011 Nominated Best Presenter (Justin Fletcher)

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