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BBC to remake Enid Blyton’s Famous Five with famous director

The Famous Five is coming back to the silver screen - with a very famous director on board

Countryfile presenter Matt Baker photographed at Corfe Castle railway station in Dorset with a group of children portraying The Famous Five
Emmy Griffiths
TV & Film Editor
26 June 2023
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We’ve had Roald Dahl and Jacqueline Wilson adaptations - and now it looks like it’s Enid Blyton’s turn to get the silver screen treatment! BBC has revealed that Drive and Only God Forgives director Nicolas Winding Refn will create and produce a new three-part season based on the beloved children’s novels, with filming to take place in the South West of the UK. 

Speaking about the project, the executive producer - who is known for working alongside Ryan Gosling and Tom Hardy - said: "All my life I’ve fought vigorously to remain a child with a lust for adventure. 

WATCH: Nicolas is a collaborator with Barbie star Ryan Gosling

"By reimagining The Famous Five, I am preserving that notion by bringing these iconic stories to life for a progressive new audience, instilling the undefinable allure and enchantment of childhood for current and future generations to come." 

Children's Author Enid Blyton watching auditions for production of Noddy in Toyland in 1957© Mirrorpix
Children's Author Enid Blyton watching auditions for production of Noddy in Toyland in 1957

Co-founder of production company Moonage Pictures Will Gould added: "In the hands of Nicolas and Matthew this Famous Five will be a modern, timely and irreverent action series with adventure at its heart.”

Director BBC Children’s and Education Patricia Hidalgo added: "These stories are loved around the world and bringing families together is a key part of our strategy so we hope it introduces a new generation of viewers to these wonderful adventures."

So what is the Famous Five all about? For those who never read the popular novel series, the story follows four siblings, Julian, Dick, and Anne, as well as their cousin George and her dog Timmy, as they go on adventures, uncover mysteries and have plenty of picnics with ginger beer. 

The news comes as something of a surprise for fans of the director, who is best known for his action-thriller movies. One person tweeted: "A perfect fit between material and director, no notes or questions," while a third person wrote: "Those books always felt like the cusp of childhood butting into adulthood, so I think this will be an interesting choice." 

The first novel of the adventure series "Famous Five", written by Enid Blyton© picture alliance
The first novel of the adventure series "Famous Five", written by Enid Blyton

There have been three previous adaptations of the Famous Five, including a 1978 series, a 1995 series and a 2008 animated series. Do you think this one will measure up? 

Enid Blyton, who passed away In 1968, wrote several hit series including Noddy, Malory Towers, St Clare’s and The Faraway Tree series, as well as The Enchanted Wood and Adventures of the Wishing Chair. 

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