Biff and Chip on CBeebies: Adaptation of children's books - why are they so controversial?

Biff and Chip on CBeebies: Adaptation of children’s books – why are they so controversial?

Stars Kellie Shirley who played Carly Wicks in EastEnders from 2006 to 2012

Biff and Chip is coming soon to CBeebies and the channel has released a first look at the series.

It’s an adaptation that will either make you groan or rejoice – if you’re a parent or remember them from your school days.

Some of you might have fond memories of reading the children’s books with your kids…

Others not so much!

Here’s everything you need to know.

Biff and Chip on CBeebies
Wilf, Biff, Kipper, Chip, Floppy the dog, and Wilma are all bought to life in Biff and Chip on CBeebies (Credit: CBeebies)

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What is Biff and Chip?

Biff and Chip are a series of children’s reading books for infants.

Most parents will have read them with their kids at some point.

The books include The Box of Treasure, Floppy Did This! and Six in a Bed.

Biff, Chip and Kipper were created in 1986 by author Roderick Hunt and illustrator Alex Brychta.

Since then, hundreds of stories have been published, read by 30 million children around the world.

The books follow the adventures of twins Biff and Chip, their younger brother Kipper and pet dog Floppy.

But actually, Biff, Chip and Kipper aren’t really called Biff, Chip and Kipper.

Their real names are Elizabeth, David and Christopher Robinson.

They all owe their nicknames to Kipper struggling to pronounce his older brother and sister’s names, as well as his own.

Biff and Chip on CBeebies

The series will be based on the Oxford Reading Tree Books.

Taking inspiration from the books, the new Biff and Chip series will include storylines written exclusively for the show.

The title characters will make up games, solve problems and create make believe worlds in their homes.

They’ll also play in the park and have fun with their best friends Wilf and Wilma Page.

Biff and Chip on CBeebies
Biff and Chip will start on CBeebies later in 2021 (Credit: CBeebies)

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When will it start and where is it filmed?

Biff and Chip on CBeebies is filming in the North West at various locations across Warrington and Urmston.

It will air this autumn on CBeebies and BBC iPlayer.

There’ll be 25 11-minute episodes.

Who stars in the series?

Tilly Kaye and George Robinson play twins Biff and Chip.

Gentleman Jack viewers will recognise actress Tilly as Amy Sowden, while George Robinson is as yet unknown.

Their inquisitive little brother Kipper is played by Freddie James.

Inathi Rozani and Dorothy Peters-Lowe star as best friends Wilf and Wilma Page.

Parents Mr Robinson and Mrs Robinson will be portrayed by Jack Wilkinson and Kellie Shirley.

Of course, EastEnders fans will know Kellie from her role as Carly Wicks between 2006 and 2012.

She’s also starred in Death in Paradise, In the Long Run, Doctors and Call the Midwife.

Meanwhile, next door neighbours Mr Page and Mrs Page will be played by Des Yankson and Shauna Shim.

Melanie Walters of Gavin and Stacey fame (she played Gwen West) will also appear as the energetic and mischievous Gran.

Biff and Chip on CBeebies
Kellie Shirley starred as Carly Wick in EastEnders from 2006 to 2012 (Credit: BBC One)

Biff and Chip reactions

The books are so divisive with parents they have even spawned a spoof blog sharing despair at the books’ themes.

Reacting to the new series, one parents said: “Agh, the dreaded Biff and Chip. My daughter was completely scared stiff of them… Me too actually!

“So sinister and ridiculously boring, she hated them! I remember her coming home with one of the books and she actually put it in the bin (I did rescue it!) ‘because that’s where it belongs mummy!’ Oops!

“I can’t wait to tell my now 15 year old that they’ve made it into a TV programme. I doubt she’ll be in the slightest bit impressed though #stuffofnightmares.”

Another said: “Seriously, what are they trying to do to parents! I still have nightmares about those books!”

However, one was a fan, typing: “Back in the very early 1990s when I first started back to teaching after a break to have my own family Biff and Chip were a breath of fresh air after what went before in reading books!”

Biff and Chip in CBeebies will start in the autumn of 2021.

Did you read Biff and Chip to your kids? Leave us a comment on our Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix.

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