It's time to come and play with the Tweenies!
- Tweenies theme.
The Tweenies is a BBC children's television series based around the adventures that Bella, Jake, Fizz, Milo, Judy, Max and Doodles have during the time they spend at their brightly-coloured playgroup.
Who are the Tweenies?
Bella is a blue-skinned1, five-year-old girl. She is the oldest child in the group and the tallest too. She thinks she knows all the best things to do and is frankly a little bossy. Her favourite colour is red, her favourite foods are tomato soup, brown bread and ice-cream and her favourite drinks are milk and water (not together). She likes visiting her Gran, making dens in the garden, dressing up, clapping and reading.
Jake is an orange-skinned, three-year-old boy with a yellow Mohican haircut. He is the smallest Tweenie and he takes great pride in his diminutiveness - except when he can't do something. His best friends are Milo, and Max's dog Doodles. His favourite colour is green. He likes drinking milk (especially chocolate milk at his Grandad's house), and he loves eating bananas, carrots, rice and yogurt. He enjoys making things and getting messy, especially where glue is involved. He can still remember the time everyone got stuck together. He also likes frogs and spiders.
Jake has an alter-ego, Dot-Man, a superhero who occasionally comes to life. To assist Jake in his role-play, he has a polka dot cape, which he dons in his Dot-Man persona.
Fizz is a yellow-skinned three (nearly four)-year-old. Her favourite colour is pink, she likes beads in her hair and her best friend is Bella, even though she does help Jake sometimes. She likes drinking orange juice and eating carrots, pasta, pineapple and candyfloss. Her favourite thing in the whole world is ballet dancing but she appreciates other forms of dancing too. She particularly enjoys shiny things, painting and finding out about animals. Her favourite place is the seaside.
Milo is a purple-skinned four-year-old. His favourite colour is blue and his best mate is Jake. He likes eating sausages, apples, apple juice, baked beans and samosas. He does not like bathtime or bedtime, but loves mealtimes. His favourite activity is rushing around, especially when pretending to be captain of his own space rocket. Milo also has a strange habit of applying the suffix '... aroony' on to the end of words; for example, the Milofication of the word 'hug' is 'hugaroony'.
Judy is a green-skinned adult who co-runs the playgroup with Max (see below). Her favourite colour is orange. She likes eating oranges too, and lots of other fruits and vegetables. She grows some of them in her garden at home, and the garden at playgroup is one of her favourite places. Judy loves listening to music as long as it has a good tune. She also likes peppermint tea and painting.
Max is a red-skinned adult who co-runs the playgroup with Judy. Doodles is his dog (he has had him since the mutt was a puppy) - and he comes along with him every day. Max's favourite colour is purple and he loves drinking tea and gardening. He really likes living in town, although one of his favourite places to be is sitting in a deckchair at the beach! His favourite activity is reading stories, because he enjoys doing all the different voices.
Doodles is a red and yellow, six-year-old dog, vaguely resembling an old English sheepdog. His favourite colour is yellow and he loves eating his dog food, followed by a bone or two and some water. However, his all-time favourite food is pancakes. Doodles enjoys sleeping and making jokes, but also likes singing, joining in the clapping and sleeping on his bean bag. He does not like it when people are sad or are stuck up trees.
In 2002, a female companion for Doodles was introduced, Izzles. While she initially caused a bit of resentment from Doodles, he eventually learned to accept her as part of the family. Izzles is purple and white, barely a year old, and almost resembles a rather fat saluki.
The Tweenies Phenomenon
Developed by children's pantomime producers Ian Lauchlan and Will Brenton, the show first hit the UK television screens in 1999. Aimed at the three- to five-year-old age group, the Tweenies' blend of easily recognisable characters, boisterous singing and dancing and (thankfully) quieter story telling quickly made them the number one TV programme among pre-school children.
For Christmas 1999, demand for Tweenies merchandise far outstripped supply, and their chirpy upbeat renditions of traditional children's songs were so popular that an album was recorded and, incredibly, a nationwide tour was scheduled.
The actors playing the Tweenies, unlike their predecessors on the Tellytubbies, have remained unchanged and virtually anonymous throughout the show's lifespan. Whether this is due to embarrassment or a desire 'not to spoil the magic' remains debatable.