Kate Winslet leads star-studded Cbeebies Bedtime Stories Christmas line-up

Hollywood actress Kate Winslet will tell a tale which celebrates teamwork and friendship as she kicks off a star-studded CBeebies Bedtime Stories schedule for Christmas and New Year.

The Academy-Award winner, 47, will read Grumpycorn, by Sarah McIntyre, on 19 December, telling the story of a unicorn who wants to write the most fabulous story in the world, but is stuck for ideas.

Sporting star Anthony Joshua will also appear on the BBC children’s programme on 22 December.

The 33 year old boxer will read The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats during the lead-up to Christmas, which is about a little boy named Peter who puts on his snowsuit and steps out of his house into a world blanketed in snow.

The story was hugely significant at the time of its release, as Peter was among the first African-American characters to be featured in a major children’s book when it was released in 1962.

It was Ezra's illustrations that helped to pave the way for more inclusive and diverse children’s literature, the BBC said.

Oscar-nominated actor Richard E Grant will also be joining the star studded lineup, as he reads The Snowflake by Benji Davies on 23 December, while children’s TV presenter Justin Fletcher will read The Night Before Christmas by Clement Clarke Moore on Christmas Eve.

New Year’s Day will see French singer-songwriter Christine And The Queens appear at the Royal Festival Hall stage sitting on a suspended crescent moon to read The Moon Keeper by Zosienka.

It tells the story of a polar bear who has a new job as a moon keeper and shares messages about friendship, impermanence and nature.

Meanwhile on World Braille Day (4 January), Paralympian Lora Fachie will return to CBeebies Bedtime Story to read The Black Book Of Colours by Menena Cottin – in braille.

The story is about experiencing a rainbow of colours through the senses of touch, taste, smell or hearing.

The latest round of celebrities are in good company, as they follow in the footsteps of many other names who have previously taken part in the CBeebies bedtime hour, which include royals such as King Charles and Kate Middleton, and even Hollywood actors such as James McAvoy and Tom Hardy.

A much loved staple by plenty of little ones, more than a few parents have been known to tune in too to listen to the stories that span a wealth of genres and cultures.

The stories will air at 6.50pm on CBeebies and BBC iPlayer.

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