17 March 2022

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Ground-breaking animated pre-school commission to advance disability representation

Created by Rebecca Atkinson, in partnership with Raydar Media and supported by Young Audiences Content Fund, MixMups to be animated by Mackinnon & Saunders   

LONDON, 17 March 2022 – Channel 5’s children’s strand, Milkshake! today announced that it will be the broadcast home of MixMups, its first animated pre-school series to feature disabled lead characters and be made by a team with lived experience of disability. Developed and produced with support from the UK Government funded Young Audiences Content Fund (YACF), which is managed by the BFI and in collaboration with Raydar Media, the ground-breaking 52 x 10-minute stop-motion animated series for three to five-year olds, shines a light on different pre-school play styles and the joy of mixing up objects and ideas to create stories.   

The show’s premise is inspired by all children’s love of “mixing” and combining items as a way of playing, exploring and discovering, and centres around three loveable friends, the “MixMups”. Neat and tidy Pockets, creative and inventive Giggle, and boisterous and physical Spin, along with their lovable assistance pets, Roller Guinea and Yapette the guide dog, all live in a wheelchair-accessible Helter-Skelter house in “Mixington Valley”.  Each episode sees the friends use their magical wooden spoon and mixing box to ‘Mix up the Magic’ of play and transport themselves on a host of comical adventures.  Through their young, imaginative minds they embrace a variety of ways to play, entertain each other and embark upon day-to-day problem-solving challenges with the help of the trunky-beaked Lucky Loover Bird.  Core themes include the joy of individuality, imagination, friendship and flexible thinking.   

Now entering production, Milkshake! will premiere MixMups in March 2023.     

MixMups was created by Rebecca Atkinson, the founder of the viral #ToyLikeMe campaign which called for more diversity in children’s industries. The series will be produced by award-winning Manchester-based animation house, Mackinnon & Saunders (Postman Pat, Raa Raa the Noisy Lion, Twirly Woos). The project initially received development support from the YACF and converted to a broadcaster commission with Milkshake! last year.   

“We couldn’t be more thrilled that the wonderful MixMups, a show that celebrates individuality and the distinct play styles and personalities that pre-schoolers have, is joining the Milkshake! line-up.   It’s vital to us that our young audiences and their families, see themselves reflected in our storytelling, so our cast of MixMups all have very different characters, and when they come together, magical things happen” commented Louise Bucknole, Vice President, Children’s Programming, Paramount UK and Ireland.  “It is also our first commission which from its very genesis, has been entirely inspired and created with the experiences of disabled children in mind. Working with Rebecca and a core production team that has lived experience of disability, we are confident we can bring a level of authenticity, understanding and commitment to the show, unlike any other.  We can’t wait for fans of Milkshake! to fall in love with the MixMups just as we have.”   

Series creator, Rebecca Atkinson adds: “I am over the moon that MixMups will be joining Milkshake! It was my dream to create a compelling show that draws on my own experiences as a disabled person to create lovable characters and stories and really ‘mix’ up what disability representation looks like.  As a child I loved mixing up potions, food, cake mix, paint, even toys in the bath!  I hope that MixMups will inspire a generation of pre-schoolers to reach for the nearest wooden spoon and ‘mix up the magic’ of play too.”   

The agreement was brokered by Raydar Media on behalf of MixMups Entertainment Limited, a joint venture between Toy Like Me, Mackinnon & Saunders and Raydar Media. A global licensing and merchandising programme helmed by Raydar Media will roll out in 2023. 

Please note: The core MixMups team all have lived experience of disability either personally or through a close family member. Rebecca Atkinson is an Executive Producer and Head Writer on the series along with industry stalwarts Debbie Macdonald (Script Editor & Head Writer), Alison Rayson (Executive Producer and Global Rights Partner), Chris Bowden (Executive Producer & Studio Lead for Mackinnon & Saunders), Karen Newell (Play & Children’s Responses Expert, previously at Ragdoll and Teletubbies) and Andy Burns (Director and credits including Bob the Builder).   


Kelly Todd, Paramount UK Tel: +44 (0)7817 906 298   Email: todd.kelly@vimn.com                      Jenny Needham, Paramount UK  Tel: +44 (0) 7506 725 591   Email:   jenny.needham@vimncontractor.com                    

About Milkshake! 

Channel 5’s Milkshake! is home to some of the world’s favourite pre-school characters. Channel 5 broadcasts 24 hours of children's programmes every week and is the top-rated commercial block for Kids 4-15. Milkshake! features a range of stimulating, diverse and engaging programmes that include strong character-led animation, live action series, factual entertainment and presenter-led high-quality studio and musical entertainment, also available non-stop via on-demand service, My5, a magazine and touring Milkshake! Live theatre show.

Popular shows include Peppa Pig, PAW Patrol, Fireman Sam, Thomas & Friends, Milkshake! Monkey, Pip and Posy, Milo, Circle Square, Odo, Daisy & Ollie, Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom, Noddy: Toyland Detective, Sunny Bunnies, Go Green with The Grimwades, The World According To Grandpa, Meet The Experts, Show Me How, Pirata and Capitano, Blues Clues & You, The Adventures Of Paddington and Ricky Zoom. For further information visit www.milkshake.tv.    

About Mixmups Entertainment Limited

The production company behind MixMups is a joint venture between Oscar nominated animation studio Mackinnon & Saunders (Bob the Builder, Roary the Racing Car, Pinocchio, Mars Attack), Toy Like Me CIC (arts and play based organisation founded by MixMups creator Rebecca Atkinson) and Raydar Media Limited (Executive Producers and Rights Partners – Piney, We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, Camp Furly, Agatha Christie’s Hjerson).   

About the Young Audiences Content Fund Managed by the BFI, the Young Audiences Content Fund (YACF) supports the creation of distinct, high-quality content for children and young audiences to be broadcast on free-to-access, Ofcom regulated television channels and online platforms. 

Financed by the UK Government as part of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport’s Contestable Fund, the YACF aims to provide new avenues for creators of original content and bring new voices to the market, and back content which entertains, informs and reflects the experiences of young people growing up across the UK today. www.bfi.org.uk/yacf 

About the BFI 

The BFI is a cultural charity, a National Lottery distributor, and the UK’s lead organisation for film and the moving image. Its mission is:    

To support creativity and actively seek out the next generation of UK storytellers

To grow and care for the BFI National Archive, the world’s largest film and television archive

To offer the widest range of UK and international moving image culture through our programmes and festivals - delivered online and in venue

To use our knowledge to educate and deepen public appreciation and understanding

To work with Government and industry to ensure the continued growth of the UK’s screen industries

Founded in 1933, the BFI is a registered charity governed by Royal Charter. The BFI Board of Governors is chaired by Tim Richards.      

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