Filming has begun at dock10 for The Furchester Hotel, the brand-new CBeebies show starring Muppet stars Cookie Monster and Elmo.
A joint production between Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organisation behind Sesame Street, and CBeebies, the 52 x 11 minute series is set to launch in the autumn.
Filming will continue for just over three months, with the Furchester Hotel set filling all 700 square metres of the HQ2 studio at dock10.
It was transported in 10 lorries from the three construction companies employed to build it over two and half months. It shows the interior and the garden of The Furchester Hotel and is raised 1.1 metres off the floor in order for the puppeteers to perform standing in the main areas.
Around 70 cast and crew are involved in production, including nine puppeteers and four assistant puppeteers. Experienced puppeteer Louise Gold plays Funella; Mak Wilson, who has been designated Puppet Captain, performs many of the guest Muppets, including resident guest Harvey P Dull; Andrew Spooner performs Furgus; and Sarah Burgess plays Phoebe.
Elmo and Cookie Monster are played by Sesame Street puppeteers Ryan Dillon and David Rudman respectively and the head writer for the series is Belinda Ward.
“We’re so excited to be starting work on The Furchester Hotel. The studio set is truly amazing, and to see the puppets arriving on site really brings the project to life,” says Alison Stewart, head of CBeebies production.
Carol-Lynn Parente, executive producer at Sesame Workshop, added: “The excitement in MediaCityUK is palpable as we begin production on The Furchester Hotel.
“We know this series will engage children with humorous problems and quirky solutions in ways that only the beloved Muppets can. We look forward to seeing the Furchester family, along with their friends Cookie Monster and Elmo, delighting children and families on CBeebies for years to come.”