Days out diary - child friendly and family activities

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This year's Children in Need charity fund-raising included a music DVD and CD featuring a large cast of children TV characters.

The brain behind the idea is comedian Peter Kay who is the voice behind Big Chris from Roary the Racing Car. It's an all star cast like a children equivalent of Band Aid, The cast includes old characters such as Camberwick Green, Muffin the Mule and Andy Pandy, new characters such as Roary the Racing Car, Bob the Builder, Fifi and In the Night Garden; and those that bridge the last few decades such as Thomas the Tank Engine, Postman Pat and the Teletubbies. Although Children in Need is organised by the BBC similar to other charity events the broadcasting boundaries have been broken down so it includes characters from Cbeebies, CBBC, CITV, Milkshake and other networks.

The official song is a medley of classic hits, Can you Feel It, Don't Stop, Jai Ho, Tubthumping, Never Forget, Hey Jude and One Day Like this. The unofficial song is on the same CD and DVDs featuring Big Chris (Peter Kay) singing along to another medley of songs.

The video is great and kids will find many of the characters familiar. It has only a short running time (11 minutes for the DVD), but the low price reflects that, especially as the profits are going to charity. The publishers and writers have agreed to waive their share of the mechanical royalties as well [I have no idea what that means, but it sounds like a bit more of the money may be going to charity].

Where to buy the CD and DVD

The CD and DVD were not available from many shops. I bought mine from Amazon.co.uk after I was unable to find it in the shops. Amazon has a free super-saver delivery on all orders at the moment (normally a minimum purchase needs to be made to get the free delivery option). If you want to purchase it on the high-street it is also available from HMV, or is available to download from Amazon.co.uk, Apple iTunes or HMV.

DVD vs. CD and Technical details

The DVD is described as DVD Audio on the Amazon website, but as a CD Single with video from HMV, both are incorrect as it is actually a standard video DVD. The DVD is labelled as NTSC region 0. I was surprised that it said NTSC for a BBC DVD as UK DVDs should be PAL. Most modern DVD players and TVs in the UK will play NTSC discs although older ones may not. Looking at the resolution of the video it appears that it is actually PAL resolution so I think the reference to NTSC may be just an error on the packaging. Region 0 means that it does not have the region encoding so should play on all DVD players.

If you want to listen in a normal CD player then you need to buy the CD version, which does not include the video. In my case I bought both so that I could play the music in the car, but the kids also enjoy watching the video which they can do with the DVD.