Dolly Parton is lending her distinctive voice to play a singing chicken called Noleen for a special episode in the new series of Sixteen South’s award-winning pre-school animation Lily’s Driftwood Bay. Starting on Nick Jr. in the UK on 6th June and Sprout, NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment’s 24-hour preschool network, in the US on 27th June, the new series will also feature the smooth Welsh tones of actor and comedian Rob Brydon (Gavin and Stacey, The Rob Brydon Show) as a seafaring, and rather handsome, silver fox.
Lily’s Driftwood Bay is about a little girl who creates an imaginary world from treasures she finds washed up on the beach. Lily’s world is filled with a cast of adorable beachside characters, voiced by an array of talent including Stephen Fry (QI, The Hobbit), Peter Mullan (Harry Potter, Top of the Lake), Tameka Empson (EastEnders, 3 Non-Blondes), Jane Horrocks (Sunshine on Leith, Absolutely Fabulous), Ardal O’Hanlon (Father Ted, London Irish), Annette Crosbie (One Foot in the Grave, Hope Springs) and Richard Dormer (Game of Thrones, Fortitude) alongside Orlagh O’Keeke as Lily.
In Dolly Parton’s special double length episode, ‘The Salty Chicken’, which will air next year – Dolly voices Noleen, a famous singing chicken whose luxury yacht gets beached on Driftwood Bay during a storm, much to the surprise of her greatest – and rather star struck fan, Lord Stag (Stephen Fry). An impromptu concert sees old sea dog Salty (Peter Mullan) duet with Noleen, who’s astonished by his talent and tries to persuade him to come on tour with her. Will she persuade Salty to give up the sights and sounds of Driftwood Bay for an international singing career…?
“I’ve never played a chicken before but I have been known to lay a few eggs! Noleen is a very famous chicken, probably one of the most famous chickens ever there was. She washes up on Driftwood Bay and she’s trying to get Salty to go with her on tour. Now whether he does or whether he doesn’t, you’ll just have to watch and see!”
Meanwhile, in ‘The Proposal’, Rob Brydon pops up as handsome silver fox Tom, a dredger captain and former squeeze of Nonna (Annette Crosbie). When Nonna and Tom realise they still have feelings for each other after all these years, Tom throws caution to the wind and proposes. Delighted, Nonna accepts, but when she realises it might mean leaving Driftwood Bay she wonders if she might have been a little hasty…
Rob Brydon says: “Tom is a charming old rover and it’s a lovely show, beautifully made. It’s always great to do jobs that my younger children can watch and enjoy. There’s something magical about good children’s programmes and it’s lovely to be a part of that.”
Show Creator and Producer Colin Williams says: “What a thrill to welcome Rob and Dolly to Driftwood Bay! We’ve three generations of Lily fans – children, parents and grandparents and I was looking for two very special people who are loved by all three generations to be our special guest. Who else to play a handsome and smooth Welsh fox than Rob Brydon! ‘The Salty Chicken’ was the first story outline that we wrote for series two and it was always Dolly that I wanted. It took me a year to convince her but what an honour to meet her, work with her and have her part of our special show. She’s an amazing and lovely lady – and a Lily fan too!”
A beautifully crafted series about making fun and adventure from things that you find, Lily’s Driftwood Bay is produced by Sixteen South (Claude, Pajanimals, Big and Small) featuring characters and environments completely created from objects found washed up on the beach. The series is supported by some production funding from Northern Ireland Screen.