CBeebies shows that PARENTS and kids can both enjoy - ranked!

Octonauts - CBeebies show
(Image credit: BBC/OCTONAUTS™ Meomi Design In)

While lots of children's TV shows can be ever so slightly annoying, every now and then there comes a programme that both parents and kids can enjoy together, but for very different reasons.

As a parent of young children you'll spend half your time watching CBeebies, so you might as well enjoy it! Here we rank the 10 best CBeebies shows for grown-ups and kids alike!

10. Old Jack’s Boat

Old Jack's Boat

This delightfully innocent and wholesome show features Bernard Cribbins as Old Jack, the owner of a multicoloured magical boat called The Rainbow. Each episode sees Jack tell a story to his dog, Salty. Children love watching the adventures Jack and Salty go on, and parents find themselves online booking a mini break to the coast, desperate for some sea air like Jack and his canine friend.

9. Octonauts


This TV animation is a huge hit with kids as they watch Captain Barnacles and his crew go on underwater adventures. As with most kids TV shows there is an important message and life lesson being taught in every episode, so while kids think they’re watching a cartoon, adults can be safe in the knowledge their children are actually learning something. Cracking theme tune!

8. Biggleton

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Despite this being a fairly new to CBeebies in comparison to some of the others, Biggleton is strangely addictive viewing. Eamonn Holmes may no longer be the narrator - we loved him showing off his singing skills - but this show that sees children dressed up and acting out jobs that us adults do still works really well. And we're liking Gregory's Girl star John Gordon Sinclair as the new narrator!

7. Swashbuckle

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This programme is like Crystal Maze for kids! Whole families can’t get enough of this fast-paced game show which has been given a pirate theme, features mini comedy sketches, and sees teams of swashbucklers try and beat the Captain to win jewels for their treasure chest.

6. Bedtime story

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The perfect way to end the day - this calming and friendly show sees a whole host of celebrities reading much-loved children’s books just before bedtime. Children love the stories and parents can see their favourite celebrities in a whole new light. With famous faces like Simon Pegg, David Hasslehoff  and Tom Hardy taking part, what’s not to love?!

5. Andy’s Adventures

CBeebies favourite Andy Day

CBeebies favourite Andy Day

Another CBeebies face that crops up everywhere is Andy Day - he even popped up on Strictly Come Dancing the other week!

Andy’s always off on some sort of adventure, whether it’s hunting dinosaurs, going back in time via his magic time-travelling grandfather clock to the prehistoric times, or going on wild adventures. Not only do kids love to see where he’ll end up next, parents might actually find themselves learning a thing or two. Thanks, Andy!

4. In The Night Garden

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We challenge you to find a parent who hasn't been subjected to the slightly odd world of In The Night Garden. Kids can’t get enough of characters like Iggle Piggle, Makka Pakka and Upsy Daisy to name but a few, and find the whole thing both enthralling and relaxing at the same time. Beware if you watch it when you’ve had a long day, though… that calming music is enough to send anyone off to sleep.

3. Gigglebiz

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Justin Fletcher - AKA Mr Tumble - is something of a legend for preschoolers. Gigglebiz is a huge hit, with its comedy sketch show-esque episodes all showing Justin taking on various hilarious characters. Two other brilliant CBeebies shows, Justin’s House and Something Special, also all feature the infamous Mr Fletcher. He’s a very busy man!

2. Get Well Soon

Strictly Come Dancing S16 e4 - shows Janette Manrara with celebrity contestant Dr Ranj Singh

Dr Ranj showing off his moves on Strictly Come Dancing last year!

There’s no end to Dr Ranj’s talents. Not only has he recently shown off his fancy footwork on Strictly Come Dancing, but he’s also a doctor and a television presenter. Parents might be more familiar with Dr Ranj covered in sequins every Saturday night, but younger fans will know him as the friendly doctor who treats puppet patients for a multitude of ailments. Not only does he teach children about different illnesses through catchy songs, but also makes going to the doctors much less daunting for kids.

1. Hey Duggee - our CBeebies number one show!

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As well as being one of the best cartoons on TV at the moment, Hey Duggee is clever, funny and entertains everyone. Duggee and the rest of his friends in Squirrel Club have to work through different challenges to earn a badge for their achievements. Think Scouts of the cartoon world.

Each episode usually involves a song, most of which you’ll find yourself singing for days. Most recently the hilarious Stick Song has attracted its own cult following, with anyone who hears it struggling to get it out of their heads. It had to be our number one - "Duggee Hug!"

Main pic: Dr Ranj pic: EMPICS Entertainment

Claire Crick
Assistant Managing Editor at What To Watch

Claire is Assistant Managing Editor at What To Watch and has been a journalist for over 15 years, writing about everything from soaps and TV to beauty, entertainment, and even the Royal Family. After starting her career at a soap magazine, she ended up staying for 13 years, and over that time she’s pulled pints in the Rovers Return, sung karaoke in the Emmerdale village hall, taken a stroll around Albert Square, and visited Summer Bay Surf Club in sunny Australia. 

After learning some tricks of the trade at websites Digital Spy, Entertainment Daily, and Woman & Home, Claire landed a role at What’s On TV and whattowatch.com writing about all things TV and film, with a particular love for Aussie soaps, Strictly Come Dancing and Bake Off

She’s interviewed everyone from June Brown — AKA Dot Cotton — to Michelle Keegan, swapped cooking tips with baking legend Mary Berry backstage at the NTAs, and danced the night away with soap stars at countless awards bashes. There’s not a lot she doesn’t know about soaps and TV and can be very handy when a soapy question comes up in a pub quiz! 

As well as all things soap-related, Claire also loves running, spa breaks, days out with her kids, and getting lost in a good book.