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Tom Hardy and dog Blue return to CBeebies for week of bedtime stories

The actor has been a popular reader on the channel since 2016.

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Tom Hardy (BBC/PA)

Tom Hardy (BBC/PA)

Tom Hardy (BBC/PA)

Tom Hardy will return to CBeebies with a new selection of bedtime stories, accompanied by his dog Blue.

The Mad Max: Fury Road actor first read a story to children on the channel in 2016 and since then his stories have been requested more than one million times on BBC iPlayer.

Hardy will read a new story each day from Monday April 27 to Friday May 1, with the date of a sixth story yet to be confirmed.

He said he wanted to play a part in keeping the children of the UK entertained at this “challenging time” during the coronavirus lockdown, the BBC said.

The ‘Tom Week’ of stories was recorded in his garden, in line with social distancing guidelines, and he was accompanied by his French bulldog Blue for some of the sessions.

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Hardy reads Hug Me by Simone Ciraolo (CBeebies)

Hardy reads Hug Me by Simone Ciraolo (CBeebies)

Hardy reads Hug Me by Simone Ciraolo (CBeebies)

The first, Hug Me, by Simone Ciraolo, will be on CBeebeies at 6.50pm on April 27.

The story is about Felipe, a young cactus who really needs a hug, but his family “just isn’t the touchy-feely kind” so he sets off to find a friend of his own – and a hug.

Beginning the story, Hardy will say: “Hello. I’m Tom. Sometimes, on a day like this, I feel strong and happy.

“But on other days, I just need somebody to give me a hug. Tonight’s bedtime story is all about a little cactus called Felipe, who just wants a hug too.”

He concludes the story by reassuring viewers: “So, in the end Felipe found someone to hug. It’s not always possible to hug the ones that you love. But they’re always there, in your heart.”

Other stories will include Under The Same Sky, by Robert Vescio and Nicky Johnston, which will air on April 28 and is about two children on opposite sides of the world who crave friendship.

Hardy will also read There’s A Tiger In The Garden by Lizzy Stewart on April 29, which is about the power of imagination being able to take you anywhere, even for Nora who does not believe her grandma when she says she has seen a tiger in the garden.

Other titles include Don’t Worry, Little Crab by Chris Haughton, which is about mustering the courage to try something new, and The Problem With Problems by Rachel Rooney and Zehra Hicks.

Cheryl Taylor, head of content for BBC Children’s, said: “It goes without saying how thrilled we are to have Tom reading more stories for us.

“It’s during challenging times like this that the BBC serves its purpose to entertain the whole of the UK and these new stories are guaranteed to do just that with their themes of long-distance friendship, sharing problems and true courage in overcoming seemingly impossible challenges.”

CBeebies Bedtime Stories in on each weekday at 6.50pm on the CBeebies channel and is also available on BBC iPlayer.

PA