Bob the Builder

Created by Keith Chapman for young viewers, the first episode of Bob the Builder was broadcast on 28th November 1998. Bob's aim is to have a positive attitude to help solve problems and get things done, so he and his friends, including Dizzy the cement mixer and Muck the dump truck, work together in a fun world of imaginative experiences.

In the first series, stop-motion animation created the jolly building contractor that was voiced by British actor Neil Morrissey of Men Behaving Badly fame. Bob was introduced as a building contractor who specialised in masonry. In later episodes, more technically-advanced CGI animation has been used to create Bob and his pals.

Celebrating its 20th anniversary next year, the show has become a big hit all over the world. It has been screened by various networks including the BBC, CBeebies, Nick Jr and PBS Kids in the United States and the Italian network Rai YoYo. Channel 5 is currently screening Bob the Builder in the UK.

In liaison with major manufacturers, the massive franchise is complete with its own range of merchandise including Lego Bob the Builder sets, Hasbro characters, Character World bedding and bedroom textiles, video games for the PlayStation, Nintendo DS, Game Boy and PC, Learning Curve toys and even children's rides at theme parks and other locations.

Bob the Builder's theme song, Can We Fix It, is famous all over the world. It reached the number one spot in the UK and Australian charts in 2000, while a follow-up single, Mambo, hit the number one spot in the UK in 2001 and number two in Australia.

Two albums from the show have also been released: Bob the Builder: The Album on BBC Records was number one in the UK and Australia in 2001, achieving gold status in Britain and double platinum status in Australia. A second album, Never Mind the Breeze Blocks, entered the UK charts at number 87 in 2008.

The Bob the Builder series is exported to more than 30 countries across the world including Japan, France, Spain, Germany, Italy, Holland, Croatia and many more.

In 2014, the show received a major overhaul, with actor Lee Ingleby (best known for presenting BBC1's Our Zoo) taking over the voice of Bob from Neil Morrissey. Downton Abbey star Joanne Froggatt voiced Bob's business partner, Wendy and Inbetweeners' star Blake Harrison voiced Bob's pal, Scoop the digger.

Bob had a new home in the bustling town of Spring City and the technology used for his building designs was brought up-to-date (as he used a computer), although he could still be seen labouring in his familiar builder's yard in Fixham village.

The show's director, Sarah Bell, said in an interview that diggers and dumpers fascinated children as much as dinosaurs did, hence the continued popularity of the little builder and his friends. Bob the Builder lives in a bright, colourful world, which is very appealing to children. The kids who grew up with Bob the Builder two decades ago are now watching the show with their own children.

For the real-life Bob the Builders out there, Solent Plastics stocks a wide range of plastic tool boxes suitable for storing tools safely and securely. Can we fix it…? Yes, we can!

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