CBeebies Bedtime Story: Which celebrities have starred as readers?

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·TV Reporter, Yahoo Entertainment UK
·7-min read
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Harry Styles joins the list of celebrity CBeebies Bedtime Story readers. (BBC)
Harry Styles joins the list of celebrity CBeebies Bedtime Story readers. (BBC)

A preschool channel story reading show might not seem like the most A-list of events, but over the years, the CBeebies Bedtime Story has drawn in some of the most well-known stars around as guests.

Of course, the beauty is that most of their young audience won't have a clue who's reading the story - they just see a different presenter to usual introducing themselves by first name only, although their excited parents may have suggested tuning in.

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The Bedtime Story has become something of a celebrity institution in recent years, with everyone from rock stars to royals signing up to read.

How are Bedtime Story readers chosen?

The regular CBeebies presenters often read the story, too. (BBC)
The regular CBeebies presenters often read the story, too. (BBC)

Ever wondered how the show's makers settle on which celebrity story readers to choose?

Executive Producer for CBeebies Bedtime Story John Harkins explained to Yahoo UK that a lot of thought goes into it.

He said: “We strive for a diverse range of people to read. The readers, stories and pictures are chosen to inspire, educate and entertain our young viewers, but we do have lots of feedback from parents who say that they really enjoy watching with their children so there’s a co-viewing experience to consider.

"And of course there’s a wow factor for the grown ups when they see a famous actor, sports or music star. The stories are chosen with the reader in mind, and to spark a conversation about who that reader is and what they’re famous for."

Harkins continued: “Reflecting the lives of our audience is really important to us through those stories. We’re always on the look out for different voices, readers, stories, illustrations or themes.

"The one thing that makes it stand out in that very busy world of children’s media is everybody loves a story, CBeebies Bedtime Stories does something really special every night of the week, every day of the year.”

Who has read a CBeebies Bedtime Story?

Harry Styles

Harry Styles settles in for a story. (BBC)
Harry Styles settles in for a story. (BBC)

The former One Direction star is fresh out of headlining Coachella solo, has drawn comparisons to Mick Jagger and David Bowie, and is releasing two films in 2022.

But despite his superstar status, he still has time to settle down with a story, appearing on 23 May, 2022.

Steve Carell

Steve Carell read The Eyebrows of Doom. (BBC)
Steve Carell read The Eyebrows of Doom. (BBC)

Hollywood star and comedy actor Steve Carell brings his sense of humour to the Bedtime Story on 1 July, 2022 as he reads The Eyebrows of Doom by Steve Smallman.

The 59-year-old Anchorman and The Office star said: "I loved reading to my kids when they were younger so it was a great pleasure to read a Bedtime Story for CBeebies, about a pair of mischievous eyebrows causing havoc – something I’m sure we can all relate to."

Rose Ayling-Ellis

Rose Ayling-Ellis at CBeebies Bedtime Story. (BBC/PA)
Rose Ayling-Ellis signed the CBeebies Bedtime Story. (BBC/PA)

EastEnders star and Strictly Come Dancing winner Ayling-Ellis is building up a varied fanbase thanks to her primetime appearances.

Younger viewers were treated to the first ever signed version of the Bedtime Story when she appeared for Deaf Awareness Week in 2022.

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge

The Duchess of Cambridge read the CBeebies Bedtime Story. (Kensington Palace/PA Wire)
The Duchess of Cambridge read for Children's Mental Health Week. (Kensington Palace/PA Wire)

Early in 2022, CBeebies surpassed the star factor by signing a royal to read a story.

Kate settled in for a bedtime read to mark Children's Mental Health Week.

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  • Jessica Ennis-Hill

  • Suranne Jones

  • Robert Webb

  • Isla Fisher

  • Edith Bowman

Guy Garvey

Guy Garvey from Elbow performing on the Pyramid Stage during the Glastonbury Festival at Worthy Farm in Somerset. Picture date: Sunday June 26, 2022.
Guy Garvey recorded his story at Glastonbury. (PA)

The Elbow frontman has read a few Bedtime Stories, but when he was asked to read from Glastonbury in 2022 he said it was extra special as it was the first time he had read since becoming a father.

Garvey, whose episode airs on 28 June, 2022 when he will read A Little Bit Brave by Nicola Kinnear, said: "The first time I did a CBeebies bedtime story it was for the rest of the band's kids, I didn’t have any of my own. Now I’ve got one and they’ve got more.

"The book I’ve chosen is a favourite bought for me by my best friend Pete Jobson who also has a couple of munchkins. So this is a lovely way to do something for all of them and to be doing it at the best party in the world is a super bonus."

Arlo Parks and Phoebe Bridgers also read stories from Glastonbury 2022.

  • Maxine Peake

  • George Ezra

  • Arlo Parks

  • Phoebe Bridgers

Dave Grohl

Dave Grohl chose to read Ringo Starr's book. (BBC)
Dave Grohl chose to read Ringo Starr's book. (BBC)

The Foo Fighters frontman read Octopus's Garden by The Beatles drummer Ringo Starr, who based his book on his band's song lyrics.

Grohl, 52, said: “As a proud father-of-three, I’ve always enjoyed reading stories to my children. It was a pleasure to read these stories for CBeebies.”

  • Ed Sheeran

  • Bjorn Ulvaeus

  • Rag'n'Bone Man

  • Robbie Williams

  • Mark Ronson

  • Will Young

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Rege-Jean Page

Rege-Jean Page on CBeebies
Rege-Jean Page read on Mother's Day 2021. (BBC)

The Bridgerton star might not have been so familiar to younger viewers, but he rocketed to fame thanks to his role in the steamy Netflix period drama - making him the perfect choice to read on Mother's Day 2021.

  • Rick Astley

  • Reese Witherspoon

  • Felicity Jones

  • Ryan Reynolds

  • Eddie Redmayne

  • David Olusoga

Tom Hardy

Tom Hardy at CBeebies Bedtime Stories
Tom Hardy is a regular story reader. (BBC)

A perennial favourite with the Bedtime Story viewers (and their parents) is actor Tom Hardy, who has appeared a number of times.

He was joined in a Christmas appearance by his dog Blue, a bittersweet moment as he had previously read with his late dog Woody at his side before losing his beloved pet in 2017.

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  • Sir Elton John

  • Dolly Parton

  • David Schwimmer

  • Gregory Porter

  • Rob Delaney

Chris Evans

Chris Evans CBeebies Bedtime Story
Chris Evans read Even Superheroes Have Bad Days. (BBC)

Hollywood actor and Avengers star may have been one of the more recognisable stars for younger viewers to read their Bedtime Story.

Evans paid CBeebies a visit in 2017 to read Even Superheroes Have Bad Days.

  • Cat Deeley

  • Romesh Ranganathan

  • Shayne Ward

  • Floella Benjamin

  • Sophie Ellis Bextor

  • Tim Peake

Michael Rosen

Michael Rosen attends a photo call celebrate 20 Years of the Waterstones Children’s Laureate at Waterstones Piccadilly in London.
Michael Rosen has written many beloved children's books. (PA)

Children's author Rosen is an obvious choice to be a hit for the Bedtime Story, having penned classics such as We're Going On A Bear Hunt and Sad Book.

Anyone who has watched him read Chocolate Cake will know what a skilled story reader he is, too.

  • Ben Faulks

  • David Tennant

  • Toby Stephens

  • Greg James

Tom Hiddleston

Tom Hiddleston at CBeebies (BBC/PA)
Tom Hiddleston settles in to the CBeebies story corner. (BBC)

The Avengers star made time in his busy Hollywood schedule to read Supertato by Sue Hendra in 2021.

He said: “Tonight’s bedtime story is all about a supervillain. This guy is really naughty, very cheeky… and bright green. But never fear, because where there’s trouble, a superhero is sure to follow.”

  • Joanna Page

  • Rosamund Pike

  • Damian Lewis

  • Simon Le Bon

  • David Hasselhoff

  • Simon Pegg

  • James McAvoy

  • David Walliams

The Bedtime Story airs at 6.50pm from Monday to Friday on CBeebies.

Watch: Harry Styles to read CBeebies Bedtime Story

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