It’s proven a hit with families in Ireland and charmed millions of television viewers with an appearance on the ‘Jonathon Ross Show’ earlier this year, but now Bábógbaby’s BB Bear is set take Scotland and Wales by storm.
Created by Moycullen resident Adrian Devane and voiced by his daughter Robyn, the talking teddy bear has already helped children learn their first few words in Irish and BB Bear is now set to teach Scots Gaelic, Welsh and English to youngsters across the UK and Ireland.
“It was always part of the business plan going back three years that we would start with the Irish and then we would roll it out to other languages, starting with the minority languages such as Welsh and Scots Gaelic,” said Mr Devane, adding that the move is part of a “bigger plan” to expand it to other languages, including English.
The new English-speaking bear, which is also voiced by Robyn Devane, will be available in Ireland from November and licence negotiations are ongoing with a Chinese company for the sale of an English BB Bear for the Asian market, with Mr Devane set to travel to China next week for discussions.
“That would be pretty massive if we can get the English bear out to those trying to teach their child English in China, it’s such a huge market,” he said, adding the bear also has potential as a teaching aid for children in Ireland for whom English is not their first language.
The new Welsh and Scots Gaelic bears will also hit the stores in November, just in time for Christmas in the UK. Babogbaby.com is currently taking pre-orders for the new bears.
As well as being produced by Moycullen-based Bábógbaby, the Welsh bear has another connection to Galway as it was voiced by a Welsh girl, Mali Thomas, who was living in Galway at the time, and recorded at Telegael in Spiddal.
And new bears are not the end of Bábógbaby’s plans for expansion as an animated television series, ‘BB agus Bella’, is to begin early next year on TG4.
Mr Devane said this week that the Scottish have already expressed an interest in doing Scots Gaelic version of the programme and it is hoped it will be expanded to Wales and eventually to Channel 5 or Nickelodeon, where it could potentially replicate the popularity of children’s shows such as ‘Peppa Pig’.