Stars line up to celebrate Play School’s 50th birthday

There’s a bear in there and a chair as well, there are people with games and stories to tell… 50 years worth of stories to be exact.

On July 10, 2016 we all get to take a trip down memory lane as the iconic children’s television program Play School celebrates five decades on our screens.

Fellow national TV treasure Kate Ritchie will mark the milestone by presenting Big Ted’s Excellent Adventure: 50 Years of Play School at 7.40pm on ABC.

Three generations have grown up with the television show as part of their staple TV viewing.

This documentary takes a look back at all the fun and laughter while reflecting on half a century of the nation’s social history.

play school presenters

Past and current Play School presenters including Benita Collings, John Waters and Justine Clarke will share their memories from behind the scenes.

Well known Australian stars also sharing their memories of the show will include Mikey Robins, Hannah Gadsby, Nazeem Hussain, Craig McLachlan and the original Wiggles members.

In the lead up to the documentary, Play School will welcome a host of stars with a special series of mini episodes called Play School Celebrity Covers from July 4, 2016.

The series will feature popular Australian personalities stepping in as guest presenters by performing a song or reading a story.

The episodes will air daily on ABC KIDS at 8am and 5pm. Then, on the program’s official birthday July 18, a half hour collection of the mini episodes will air at 6.30pm.

Here’s a list of who to expect and when.

July 4: 8am Benita Collings and Don Spencer, Teddy Bears Picnic; 5pm Missy Higgins, Three Little Fishies

July 5: 8am Carrie Bickmore, Family Forest; 5pm Guy Sebastian, Singing in the Rain

July 6: 8am Dan Sultan, The Wheels on the Bus; 5pm Bernard Fanning, Morning Town Ride

July 7: 8am Delta Goodrem, Twinkle Twinkle & Moon Moon; 5pm Emma Wiggle,There’s a Bear in There

July 8: 8am John Hamblin, I’m a Little Teapot; 5pm Kurt Feanley and Rachael Coopes, Going on a Bear Hunt

July 9: 8am Annabel Crabb and Leigh Sales, Singing in the Kitchen; 5pm Kate Cebrano & daughter Gypsy, I like Peace, I like Quiet

July 10: 8am Costa Georgiadis, Worm at the Bottom of my Garden and Wiggerly Woo; 5pm Caitlin Cooper, Ellie Carpenter and Michelle Heyman from the Matildas, If You’re Happy and You Know It

July 11: 8am Dami Im, Somewhere over the Rainbow; 5pm Adam Goodes,Counting Aussie Animals

July 12: 8am You Am I, One Potato, Two Potato; 5pm Katie Noonan, I Can Sing a Rainbow

July 13: 8am Tim Minchin, The Bunyip of Berkeley’s Creek; 5pm Benita Collings & Don Spencer, Little Peter Rabbit

July 14: 8am Magda Szubanksi, Old Mother Hubbard; 5pm Tim Omaji, Rhythm

July 15: 8am Molly Meldrum and Charlie Pickering, Nursery Rhyme News, 5pm Josh Thomas Ning Nang Nong

July 16: 8am Lee Lin Chin and Takaya Honda, The Emperor’s New Clothes, 5pm Architecture in Helsinki, Big Bass Drum

July 17: 8am Jeremy Fernandez, Five Cheeky Monkeys; 5pm Kate Miller-Heidke, The Owl and the Pussycat

July 18 (birthday): 8am The Umbilical Brothers, Fairytale Mash-up; 5pm John Hamblin, Old MacDonald; 6.30pm Play School Celebrity Covers Special

July 19: 8am Hamish and Andy, There’s a Hole in my Bucket

The Play School Celebrity Covers series will also be available on ABC iview, with five episodes debuting on July 4 and further episodes being added to the platform daily following their broadcast on ABC KIDS.

play school


Feel like reminiscing now? Babyology recently took a look back at some of the past and present presenters. And, if you’re after a special keepsake of the momentous milestone, the Royal Australian Mint has released three specially designed collectable coins in honour of the anniversary.

(images via Instagram)

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