Channel 4 celebrates 50 years of the Mr. Men with a brand new documentary this weekend.
50 Years of the Mr Men will be presented by Matt Lucas, charting the history of the colourful little characters who changed global publishing forever and found their way into the hearts and bedtime stories of generations of children around the world.
As part of the show, author and illustrator Adam Hargreaves - son of Mr. Men and Little Miss creator Roger Hargreaves - will create five prototype new characters (pictured above) for a global public vote, with the two most popular announced when the programme airs, before becoming the latest members of the Mr. Men Little Miss universe in September this year.
50 Years of Mr Men with Matt Lucas airs on Sunday, 16 May at 6PM on Channel 4.
Channel 4 share of the special: "The film will celebrate 50 years of one of the best loved children’s characters of all time. A story that started with a ‘tickle’ in 1971 and became a family dynasty, and one of Britain’s most pioneering, successful and enduring brands globally.
"The film will showcase the remarkable evolution of these colourful little characters and their role in pioneering a new world of inclusivity and openness.
"It will explore iconic moments via the extraordinary Hargreaves’ family story, artists and collaborators, child psychologists, marketing gurus, collectors and super-fans from the worlds of fashion, music and the arts.
"In parallel, behind the scenes, Matt Lucas will reveal the secret world of the astonishing artistic process: what it takes to brainstorm, draw, write and animate new Mr Men and Little Misses for today’s world.
"He’ll also help launch the global competition to find the two newest characters introducing them to new generations of children and parents across the planet."
Matt Lucas said: “I grew up on these books and considered the Mister Men and Little Miss characters my friends!
"I am delighted to be meeting them all again and look forward to finding out the story behind this much-loved, iconic series.”
Channel 4 Specialist Factual commissioning editor Shaminder Nahal said: “There can’t be many families who’ve lived without a few Mr Men books at home; who’ve spent a bit a bit of time immersed in that funny, colourful, charming world.
"From the endless eggs for breakfasts, the crazy houses and the simple stories with their satisfying endings - the world created by Roger Hargreaves feels like an essential part of popular culture. I can’t wait to discover the secrets of how this much-loved universe was created - and to find out who the public choose to be the characters of the future.”
Executive producer Harry Bell added: “The Mr Men and Little Miss characters are trailblazers for celebrating difference and diversity. That’s the secret to their success.
"We were delighted to gain such wonderful access to both their special world and to those behind the phenomenal success of the brand.
"Having Matt Lucas, super fan, adding his own tickle of colour will make this a magical must watch film for all the family.”