The network confirms: "Presented by super fan, writer, actor and comedian, Matt Lucas, 50 Years Of The Mr Men will chart 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."
The producers say: "'Daddy, what does a tickle look like?' When, in 1971, 8-year-old Adam Hargreaves uttered these immortal words little did he know he'd just given birth to one of the best loved, successful and psychologically important children's characters of all time: the Mr Men and Little Miss books.
"To celebrate this milestone birthday Adam Hargreaves, now author and illustrator, will be creating five prototype new characters 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.
"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, who also presents The Great British Bake Off for Channel 4, says: "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."
Voting is now open for fans to have their say on the new characters via mrmen.com
Commissioner Shaminder Nahal comments: "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 adds: "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."
50 Years Of The Mr Men will be on Channel 4 later in the year.
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