Published 21st July 2023

Aardman and Blue Peter unveil Amazing Authors animation

Aardman and Blue Peter will today unveil a new animation based on a poem written by Amazing Authors writing competition winner, Phoebe.

Ten-year-old Phoebe from Devon has been announced as the winner of the competition, run in partnership with The Reading Agency and BBC Arts.

Phoebe’s poem ‘There’s a Big Bad Wolf’ took the top spot, winning a once-in-a-lifetime prize, as she sees her work turned into a book and a short animated film, brought to life by Aardman, thanks to funding from Arts Council England’s National Lottery Project Grants. The score for the animation was recorded by BBC Philharmonic.

Narrated by singer and children’s author Tom Fletcher, the animation will be shown on BBC iPlayer and CBBC on this evening’s Blue Peter (Friday 21 July) as well as on CBeebies Bedtime Story.

Phoebe says: “I feel incredibly lucky to have won a competition that so many people entered. I’ve always wanted to be an author and I can’t believe that my story has been chosen to be made into a book and an animation - it’s the best prize ever!

I had an amazing time going behind the scenes at Aardman and had so much fun meeting and chatting with the people who’ve created the animation for my story, and I really enjoyed having a go at drawing on the computer.

It was so exciting meeting Tom Fletcher too, as I’m such a big fan, and hearing him read my story was so surreal! I’ve had such an amazing and magical time!”

Tom Fletcher says: “Almost 8,000 kids entered the Amazing Authors competition, so massive congratulations to everyone who entered and to Phoebe who won! I loved reading her story ‘There’s a Big Bad Wolf’, it’s so brilliantly creative and the illustrations and animation are incredible, I can’t wait for everyone to enjoy it on Blue Peter and as a CBeebies Bedtime Story. There are not many 10-year-olds who can say that their story is in print in their local library. She’s an inspiration!”

Suzy Klein, Head of Arts and Classical Music TV, says: “I’m delighted that BBC Arts helped to create this exciting competition; and huge congratulations to our winner Phoebe whose story captured the imagination of all the judges. I can’t wait for audiences on Blue Peter, CBeebies Bedtime Story and BBC iPlayer to see it in its full animated glory; and for audiences on BBC Sounds to hear it, narrated by the successful children’s writer Tom Fletcher. We’re really grateful to The Reading Agency for their support and to Arts Council England for helping make this a prize that money can’t buy. It’s been fantastic to witness the boundless imagination of the next generation of authors and I feel sure the UK’s literary future is in good hands.”

Young viewers were asked to pen a short story or poem and Phoebe’s writing stood out with her descriptive and imaginative poem about a wolf who lives at the back of her shed. The winning entry impressed the judges with the strong characters Phoebe had created, as well as with the quirky humour in her poem.

As part of the incredible prize, Phoebe went behind the scenes at Aardman to meet with director Åsa Lucander and see how characters are brought to life before receiving a printed version of her story to treasure forever. Phoebe also contributed to the sound effects in the short animated film when she voiced the sighs and gasps of the central character. She also visited the BBC studios in Salford, the home of BBC Philharmonic to hear the soundtrack being recorded by the full orchestra.

Phoebe, who would like to be a writer when she grows up, will appear live on Blue Peter this evening (Friday 21 July).

Phoebe also becomes the proud owner of a Blue Peter competition winner’s Orange Badge, to add to her collection of blue, green and purple badges.

The Amazing Authors competition is a collaboration between BBC Studios Kids & Family, BBC Arts and The Reading Agency. Working with The Reading Agency, the competition engaged children across the country and feedback showed appreciation from grown-ups that it helped children who need extra support with creative writing.

Blue Peter, 5pm, Friday 21 July, CBBC and BBC iPlayer.

CBeebies Bedtime Story, 6.50pm, Friday 21 July, CBeebies and BBC iPlayer.