BBC Sounds launch second season of Halloween podcast drama for visually impaired children

Sunday, 27th October 2019

BBC Sounds launch second season of Halloween podcast drama for visually impaired children

Once Upon a Time in Zombieville, the double award winning comedy podcast series for all the family is back! One hundred more minutes of mayhem, as our plucky heroes Jamie and Sam battle the Mad Moghul, the Bad Billionaire, Voom Buckstop in an effort to save the world.

Once Upon a Time in Zombieville is a comic book for the ears! Featuring lead characters with visual impairment and dyslexia, Zombieville is for those who might struggle to read, but still love to listen to a great story. Zombieville is for everyone who ever stood up to, or needs to stand up to a bully.

Season 2 expands upon this theme, with even greater challenges to our young heroes. Over 10 brand new episodes more quirky characters are introduced, broadening and enriching our young heroes’ world and deliver another sweet high-stacked pile of adventure that will champion diversity and empowerment in a world increasingly fraught with intolerance, xenophobia and deliberate falsehoods. Is the truth out there?

But, whilst the gory tale is perfect for dark, spooky evenings, the podcast series – brainchild of production company Bigmouth Audio – isn’t just a spooky tale for Halloween, it’s aiming to change the way production companies approach content for children.

The comedy-horror audio cartoon has been developed alongside the Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB), creating a rich, immersive experience for both sighted and visually impaired listeners alike.

Bigmouth Audio Founder and Managing Director Stephen Scott, explains: “As specialists in sound for animation we’ve worked extensively with clients in children’s media but, over the years, it’s become apparent that very little original content is being developed that could work for both a mainstream and visually impaired audience.

“The small percentage of content that is available is work that has simply been overdubbed or audio described; we were really keen to find a way to change that, without losing any of the production value.

“We wanted the sound to resemble that of an animated feature film – a cartoon for the ears – that could enable visually and non-visually impaired children to enjoy the same piece of content on a shared level.”

Fictional stories such as Once Upon a Time in Zombieville can also be a great way of helping children to explore real life situations that they need help to deal with, and learn to empathise with others.

Researchers from the New School for Social Research in New York have found that the brain activity that occurs when we read or listen to fictional stories is very similar to experiencing that situation in real life, enhancing the ability to detect and understand other people’s emotions.

And so, whilst Once Upon a Time in Zombieville is a fun-filled, entertainment cartoon to keep kids gripped throughout, the series has been developed to include a number of real-life situations children may have to deal with, from absent parents to bullying, making the right decisions, understanding dyslexia, and friendships, opening up opportunities for discussion and debate.

But, while Zombieville started life as a teaching tool on BBC School Radio the team at Bigmouth Audio hope that it will prove just as popular in the home, by releasing season 1 & 2 for free on the BBC Sounds app & iTunes for families to enjoy this November (10th November) with a teaser trailer going out on Halloween (Thursday 31st October).

Stephen added: “Zombieville was created with strong educational values, offering an inclusive experience for both sighted and visually impaired children, but we knew we would lose the audience if it wasn’t first and foremost a gripping story.

“Unlike most children’s content the show is serialised meaning there is a story arc reaching across the whole series. There’s a healthy dose of weird and spooky antics, making it perfect for this time of year, but we’ve also got some great comedy moments in every 10 minute episode. Plus, each episode has a cliff-hanger ending, to add to the drama and keep audiences on the edge of their seats.”

So, as the dark nights draw in, why not light a candle, curl up under a blanket and treat yourself to an evening in Zombieville.

Once Upon a Time in Zombieville is free to download on BBC Sounds & Apple Podcasts. Season 2 will be available from November 10th 2019. Catch the trailer on Halloween!

For more information about Once Upon a Time in Zombieville, or to find out more about Bigmouth Audio, please visit: www.bigmouthaudio.com

· Once Upon a Time in Zombieville can be downloaded for free on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/once-upon-a-time-in-zombieville/id1301500440?mt=2

· Researchers from the New School for Social Research in New York have found that the brain activity that occurs when we read or listen to fictional stories is very similar to experiencing that situation in real life, enhancing the ability to detect and understand other people’s emotions – for further information, please see Reading Literary Fiction Improves Theory of Mind, David Comer Kidd, Emanuele Castano: http://science.sciencemag.org/content/early/2013/10/02/science.1239918?sid=f192d0cc-1443-4bf1-a043-61410da39519

Bigmouth Audio

· Bigmouth Audio – a voice production management company, is committed to providing producers of animated content with a superior, dedicated bespoke voice production & dubbing service

· Based in the heart of Glasgow, Scotland’s largest city, and delivering a service to a global audience, Bigmouth Audio’s clients include Netflix, Mattel, Universal Pictures, Fox and Sony

· Founded in 2012, and built on a belief that animation audio is more important than ever before, Bigmouth Audio specialise in voice production management and voice dubbing for animation and video games industries.

· Bigmouth Audio is based at 78a Stanley Street, Glasgow, G41 1JH. For more details, please visit www.bigmouthaudio.com

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Fun Halloween Activities for Kids

The scariest night of the year, the Halloween is upon us. For parents, the most challenging part of this holiday is thinking of ways to make it fun for the kids. You’re probably scratching your head and searching for the best Halloween activity. Well, don’t panic just yet—here are five fun Halloween activities for kids.

Pumpkin Carving

Pumpkin carving is an age-old tradition. When you were a kid, you might have also carved a pumpkin with your parents. But did you know that Jack O’Lanterns weren’t originally made out of pumpkins? The tradition started in ancient Celtic cultures who did not have pumpkins to carve. Instead, they carved turnips, which they filled with glowing, hot coal to ward off evil spirits during this time of year.

Halloween Books

One of the easiest ways to celebrate this holiday is by reading Halloween books to your kids. TheWorks has a wide selection of books with your usual Halloween characters—mummies, witches, and monsters except they won’t give your kids nightmares! They’re fun to read and would help you teach your kids to love reading. While sipping pumpkin-spiced hot chocolates, you can gather in the living room for a great Halloween night storytime with the whole family.

Candy Making

Another fun way to celebrate Halloween is by making homemade candies with your kids. The best thing about this activity is that you can create healthy versions of your favourite treats. Plus, of course, you get to spend some quality time with your family. For a sample of what healthy candy you can make, here’s a simple peanut butter cup recipe:

  1. Line a 12-cup baking tin with muffin parchment liners.
  1. Combine ⅓ cup of creamy all-natural peanut butter, three tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder, 2 ½ tablespoons of coconut oil, two tablespoons of maple syrup, and a teaspoon of vanilla extract in a medium bowl. Mix until smooth. This creates the chocolate layer.
  1. In a separate bowl, combine ⅓ cup of creamy all-natural peanut butter, two tablespoons of coconut oil, two tablespoons of maple syrup, a teaspoon of vanilla extract, and a teaspoon of Himalayan salt. Mix again until smooth. This creates the peanut butter layer.
  1. Scoop half a tablespoon of the chocolate layer into each muffin cup. Tap the tin gently onto a flat surface until the layer is set evenly.
  1. Repeat the last step with the peanut butter layer.
  1. Sprinkle more Himalayan salt on top of each cup if you prefer then let them rest in the fridge for 30 minutes or until firm. Serve during Halloween!

Scary Movie Night

You can snack on those delicious and healthy peanut butter cups while you watch kid-friendly scary movies like The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993), Casper (1995), Hotel Transylvania (2012), ParaNorman (2012), and Goosebumps (2015).

Halloween Treasure Hunt

You and the other parents in your neighbourhood can come together and organize a Halloween treasure hunt for the kids. You can hide sweet treats and scary surprises around the neighbourhood that the young ones can search for while wearing their costumes.

These five fun activities will surely make this year’s Halloween celebrations very memorable. Stay in and have a chill night while carving pumpkins, reading Halloween books, or watching scary movies, or go all out and make candies or throw a neighbourhood Halloween treasure hunt.





Transform your Halloween Looks with Coloured Contact Lenses

The autumn season is finally here. It is time for cosy sweaters, hot beverages, orange and yellow leaves as well as pumpkins decorations. It is time for some roasted chestnuts and binge-watching your favourite TV series. Yet, most prominently, everyone is excited to try out different costumes and challenge their senses of styles for Halloween costume parties. It is your chance to freely express your imagination and be creative with your costume. There is no limitation when it comes to Halloween costumes.  You can dress up either as frightening supernaturals, folkloric beings or as any of your favourite characters. If you have poor eyesight, coloured contacts are not the best option. You should buy daily contact lenses instead.

Long gone are the times where getting ready for Halloween meant putting on a cape, a pair of fangs or a witches’ hat. With plenty of makeup brands and costumes available in the market, you can go beyond your comfort zone with your imagination! If you’re looking to make your Halloween costume extraterrestrial, then coloured contact lenses are sure to be your new best friend. Coloured contact lenses from www.contactlensesplus.com can take any ordinary costume to the next level without putting too much effort and going over your budget. Below are some ideas for how you can use contacts to transform your Halloween look.

Green contact lenses
Green contact lenses are a must for your Halloween if you want to stand out from the crowd as they can add a vibrant pop of colour to your look. Wicked witches, enchanted wizards, green goblins and dragons top the list for costumes with a unique shade of green. Green contact lenses can also finish off the look for animal outfits such as cats, lizards or snakes. If you are a Disney fan, you must have heard of the marvellous Maleficent, starring Angelina Jolie. She is the perfect inspiration for Halloween costumes with green eyes.

Blue contact lenses
When thinking of blue eyes, White Walkers from Game of Thrones are the perfect example. Like walking out of Game of Thrones series, you can impress your friends with icy blue eyes and pale white skin. Winter is coming to the party! Another blue-eyed character comes from Disney – Elsa from the famous movie Frozen. Grab a pair of icy blue contact lenses and transform yourself into a gorgeous winter queen! Another very popular character to dress up as is Harley Quinn, who also possesses one blue eye to contrast with her outfit in red. With blue contact lenses, you can also be a crazy yet sexy villain for a night.

Grey contact lenses
When it comes to grey contact lenses, there are numerous characters whom you can choose to be. The grey colour looks good on both men and women, which can bring their whole outfits together. Robots, creepy dolls styles, witches and zombies are ideal options for a pair of grey eyes.

Above are some of our suggestions for your Halloween costumes. However, all of these contact lenses are also suitable for daily use, not only for Halloween. Whether green, blue, grey or brown, it can be great fun to change your eye colour every once in a while, for special events, costume parties or for photoshoots since they have that colour pop that will make you stand out.

Check out all the coloured contact lenses at www.smartbuyglasses.co.uk and impress everyone with your outfits, whether you are preparing for Halloween or your nearest dress party. We offer products from the world’s leading brands that complement any outfit or costume. Besides, you can also find prescription coloured contact lenses in case you need it. At www.smartbuyglasses.co.uk you are assured to get a genuine product, not only at great prices but also with free delivery.

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The perfect novelty legwear for Halloween 2017

Halloween is one of the most popular times of year for legwear, coming after only Christmas, New Year’s Eve and Black Friday regarding sales figures.

Halloween is a popular time for legwear for several reasons, the main one being the versatility of the items. Tights and other hosiery items are easier to print onto, so manufacturers can choose any pattern or colour. This makes spiderweb tightswitch tights and pumpkin tights very popular.

The other reason is that they are an accessory, so they can add to a costume that is too conventional and give it a more original take, like  spiderweb tights  combined with a traditional witch costume, is a popular choice. This helps make an outfit at a fancy-dress party more outstanding and exciting.

Recommended brands and designers for this type of legwear would be Tiffany Quinn and Pamela Mann. Both do ranges that concentrate on novelty designs and holiday designs, like Halloween, Saint Patrick’s Day and Christmas. Their range is always extensive for any, and all kinds of novelty legwear and the inexpensive price tag makes them ideal for party goers that may ladder their tights while dancing.

The second most popular kind of tights and legwear after themed prints is coloured items. These are versatile for character costumes, for example, yellow tights for Simpsons costumes, or green tights for a Bride of Frankenstein themed look. These coloured tights are popular all year round for style reasons, but there is a significant peak around Halloween for them, and nearly every colour is popular for various reasons.

Recommended manufacturers are Trasparenze, an Italian designer that doe several coloured items, one being Sophie. This is one of the bestselling tights designs in the industry and is a 70 denier coloured tights design, making it ideal for the weather around October and November too.