Big Barn Farm

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Big Barn Farm is a British live action and animated children's comedy television series following the lives of four young animals on a farm which uses a combination of live-action and animation.[1] It was produced by The Foundation and commissioned by Michael Carrington for the BBC children's channel CBeebies. It was narrated by Ben Fairman in the first series and Dave Lamb in the second series.


The programme is set on a farm and follows the adventures of four young animals Petal the piglet, Gobo the goat, Dash the donkey, and Digger the puppy, called the Farmyard Bunch.[2] The storylines are told from the young animals' point of view and revolve around their emotions and the situations they find themselves in.[2] In each adventure the Farmyard Bunch explore their friendships whilst discovering their roles on the farm with help from the other farm animals.[2] Each episode constitutes an individual story, usually involving the main characters getting into some minor difficulty and pulling together to get out of that difficulty. There is no narrative thread to the episodes, each standing on its own without the need for prior understanding or any loose ends at the end.

The series aims to help children understand the importance of friendship, develop knowledge of the world around them and help develop problem solving skills.[3]

Before the show airs, the CBeebies presenter may encourage the young viewers to sing along with the theme song, which is generally sung very fast and provides some basic information about each of the main characters. The closing song is similar, but longer and details all of the animal characters, including the minor ones.


Farmyard Bunch[modifica]

  • Dash (voiced by Ben Fairman) is a wise old donkey.[4] He also fostered is thoughtful, cautious and extremely kind but occasionally a bit stubborn. He is often wary of any new adventure and would prefer watching the others being brave rather than take part himself. But because of his kind nature, Dash will always end up joining in. Dash isn't as excitable as the others and always likes to think carefully about any new situation. As the tallest of the Farmyard Bunch, he can see over the top of things which can be very useful. His catchphrase is, "Calm down, calm down.'
  • Gobo (voiced by Ellie Fairman) is a young goat or kid.[4] Gobo is clever, very bouncy and eats a lot. Often too quickly which means he burps a lot too! In fact, Gobo thinks about food most of the time and is always happy to nibble on anything! Gobo can be noisy and barges into situations when really he should stop and think first. But if there’s a hay bale that needs climbing or a picnic to be investigated, Gobo will be first in line to give it a go! His catchphrase is "Go,go Gobo!'
  • Petal (voiced by Gemma Harvey) is a female piglet.[4] is a cheeky and daring young piglet who likes to think of herself as leader of the four friends. Petal is adventurous and brave and usually the first to go and investigate something new. Sometimes this gets her into trouble and at other times she sounds braver than she really feels. Petal's personality isn't girly so she’s just happy splashing in the mud. Her catchphrase is "Piglet Power!"
  • Digger (voiced by Shelley Longworth) is a Labrador Retriever puppy.[4] He is the youngest of the four friends and always eager to prove himself. He is very cute, naive and willing to please. Digger has boundless energy and will always be the first to volunteer for any new adventure. He isn't very bright and so doesn't come up with as many ideas as the others and sometimes takes a while to catch on to what’s happening. But Digger is always eager to please and is never happier when playing with his friends. His catchphrase is "I can do that! I can do that!"

Other Characters[modifica]

The main animal characters on the farm include:

  • Mac, (voiced by Mike Winsor), a male horse who is very tall and wise.
  • Madame (voiced by Kate O'Sullivan), is a French cow.
  • Mrs. Snuffles (voiced by Kate O'Sullivan), a pig who is the mother of Petal and her brothers and sisters.
  • The Mrs. Chickens (voiced by Kate O'Sullivan), the farm's chickens who gossips a lot.
  • Mrs. Paws, (voiced by Carla Mendoncathe) a grey female cat.
  • The Duck Girls, (voiced by Kate O'Sullivan) several female ducks who live at the farm pond. They are very vain and always fuss about their feathers.
  • Old Pop is a Shepherd dog whose job is to keep everyone on the farm safe. Voiced by Mike Winsor and Keith Wickham, appears in the episode he's got to go only.
  • Ewenice, (voiced by Kate O'Sullivan), is a female sheep.
  • Lester, a very serious rooster who crows at Dawn every day of the year. Voiced by Keith Wickham.

There are also several human characters who feature in the programme, but do not speak, the farmer (played by Chris Noel),[4] the farmer's wife (played by Laura Wyles),[4] the farmer's son (played by Reef Matthews),[5] and the farmer's daughter (played by Katie Parks).[6]


Big Barn Farm was created and produced by The Foundation, which is part of the RDF Media group, the programme combines footage of real animals with animation. The visual effects were created by Ian Carley, at iCarley Media, and James Kearsley, at JK Studios, using 450 individual shots of talking animals.[7] The Executive Producer for Cbeebies was Sarah Colclough.

The set was created around a flint stable block and a barn which were not part of a real working farm. The animals lived on set or nearby during filming.[2]

The production filmed at Stede Court Estate near Maidstone in Kent.[8]

A DVD of Big Barn Farm, titled "Welcome to Big Barn Farm" was released on 17 November 2008.


# Title Airdate Overview
Series 1: 2008[9]
1 You Can't Teach New Dogs Old Tricks 6 April Digger steps into Old Pop's shoes for the day.
2 Lester Loses his Voice 7 April Lester the cockerel loses his voice. The Farmyard Bunch come up with a series of hilarious ideas to help him get it back.
3 The Grass is Always Greener 8 April Gobo the Goat is bored with the grass in his field. Dash, Petal and Digger try to help him find tastier, juicier grass, but, as usual, things don't turn out quite as expected.
4 Keeping Quiet 9 April
5 Petal and Gobo Fall Out 10 April
6 To Catch a Thief 13 April The Farmyard bunch have to find who has stole Digger's sticks, squeaky toys and blanket.
7 The Important Visitors 14 April The farm yard is tided for important visitors.
8 Greedy Goat 15 April Gobo the Goat is sure that the farmer has missed feeding time and tries to find a tasty, satisfying snack.
9 Lester the Leader 16 April Lester decides that it is his job to be leader of the farm, but Mrs Snuffles challenges him to the job.
10 Driving Miss Petal 17 April Petal finds a toy tractor belonging to the farmer's son.
11 Best in Show 20 April The animals prepare for the agricultural show.
12 40 Winks 21 April The farmyard bunch try to find a quiet place to sleep, so that they can stay up to see Old Pop return from the sheep dog trials.
13 Hot and Sticky Day 22 April The farmyard bunch try to keep cool on a hot and sticky day.
14 He's got to go 23 April Digger hears the farmer say 'He's got to go' and the farmyard bunch wonder who on the farm will leave.
15 Recycling Proficiency Test 24 April The farmyard bunch discover a bear hidden in a pile of junk.
16 Hide & Seek The farmyard bunch play a game of hide and seek.
17 Going camping Gobo discovers a camp site in the farmers field and they think the tent is a monster.
18 Touch the sky Gobo finds a piece of cloud and the farmyard bunch wonder if the sky is falling down
19 What's up Ducks? The duckies try to find a new home after they see a monster in their pond.
20 Who's Afraid of the Windy Wolf? On a windy day on the farm, the farmyard bunch think there is a wolf on the farm and build houses like the three little pigs.
Series 2: 2010 [9]
1 (21) Summer Fete The local school are holding their summer fete at Big Barn Farm. The Farmyard bunch ruin the stalls whilst trying to stop Gobo eating a cake.
2 (22) What's that smell? There is a strange smell on Big Barn Farm. Gobo, Petal and Dash soon realise it is Digger who needs a bath.
3 (23) Great Eggspectations The Farmyard bunch find what they think is a dinosaur egg and try to hatch it.
4 (24) Pink Play Pen Petal is unhappy that she is the only member of the farmyard bunch who doesn't have her own home and tries to find a new one.
5 (25) Hide a Donkey The animals try to hide Dash when the vet comes to visit.
6 (26) Gobos Imaginary Friend
7 (27) Hidden Piglet
8 (28) Gobo gets hiccups
9 (29) Giant Sunflower Seeds
10 (30) Oink Factor
11 (31) Vegetable Thief
12 (32) Dash's birthday surprise
13 (33) Quiz Wizard
14 (34) Runaway Rubbish The Farmyard bunch try to play football but end up chasing rubbish instead.
15 (35) Butter Fingers The Farmyard Bunch decide to save some of Madame's milk and roll a milk churn around the farm.
16 (36) Adventures of Petal 31 May Petal decides to go for an adventure on her own.[10]
17 (37) Brave Star 1 June Petal and Gobo compete to see who is the bravest animal on the farm.[11]
18 (38) Pampered Pooch 2 June A new dog visits the farm but the Farmyard Bunch's games are too messy for her.[5]
19 (39) Baby Sitters 3 June The Farmyard Bunch try babysitting.[12]
20 (40) Pigs Might Fly 4 June Petal decides she wants to be the first pig to fly.[4]

Academic analysis[modifica]

Professor Steven Fielding of the University of Nottingham analyses the political themes of the episode 'Lester the Leader' in his 2014 work 'A State of Play' which examines how people's views on politics are constructed by fictional representations of politics.[13]




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