Right on your Sofa: Snuggle up for Bedtime Stories with Back to Ours

Peter Levy BBC
A bedtime story with BBC TV presenter Peter Levy.

Are you sitting comfortably? Hull’s Arts Council-funded Creative People and Places project, Back to Ours, is building on its lockdown online success story to deliver fun, family-friendly events to even more people’s homes at this weekend’s Freedom Festival.

Back to Ours and Hull’s Freedom Festival, which this year goes mainly digital for the first time, are teaming up to deliver four nights of very special online Bedtime Stories to a wider audience than ever before. 

Families are invited to snuggle up together with their teddies, tune intoBBC Radio Humberside, Back to Ours Facebook page or theFreedom Festival website to hearBedtime Stories at 8pm each night from Thursday 3 September to Sunday 6 September

The Back to Ours team is now well practised in going digital. It has been bringing regular Bedtime Stories, live music, DJ nights, singalongs, opera, circus, artist takeovers and more right to people’s sofas since 19 March 2020 – just three days after taking the decision to suspend its usual live performances in neighbourhoods across the city due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Louise Yates, director of Back to Ours, said: “Who could have predicted this year? I don’t think anyone could, but I’m so proud of how we’ve adapted quickly to develop new and innovative ways to connect with people across the city, particularly digitally. We might not be able to be together in the traditional sense, but we can still bring something very special right to people’s doorsteps and right to their sofas. Who doesn’t love a good bedtime story? We’re inviting all the family to gather round to watch four very familiar faces – and voices! – share their favourite stories for this year’s Freedom Festival.”

Mikey Martins, artistic director and joint CEO of Freedom Festival Arts Trust, said: “Although we can’t gather together in the city’s squares and streets this summer, our online and broadcast programme brings a flavour of Freedom Festival direct to peoples’ homes. Working with our friends at Back To Ours on Bedtime Stories, we’re excited to bring this fun storytelling experience to families and households that may never have experienced Freedom Festival before.” 

Anne-Marie Tasker
Anne-Marie Tasker, BBC Look North arts and culture correspondent.

And here’s the Bedtime Stories line-up that will be appearing online with their favourite picture books… and maybe even their jim-jams and teddies!

  • BBC Look North presenter Peter Levy will read Skullabones Island picture book Five Minutes to Bed by Richard Dungworth and Sharon Harmer
  • BBC Look North arts and culture correspondent Anne-Marie Tasker will read Oi Frog! By Kes Gray and Jim Field
  • BBC Radio Humberside breakfast show presenter Kofi Smiles will read Rocket says Look Up by Nathan Bryon and Dapo Adeola
  • BBC Radio Humberside presenter Lucy Clark will read Guess How Much I Love You? by Sam McBratney and Anita Jeram

To find out more visit backtoours.co.uk / freedomfestival.co.uk or download the Freedom Festival app from the App store or Google Play. Don’t forget your teddies!

[Jo Charlton – Comms Collective]