Tom Hardy is set to return to his BBC storyteller role, with the welcome news during the current coronavirus lockdown that the hardman actor will reprise his part-time vocation as a bedtime Story reader for the CBeebies channel. The enigmatic and much in demand 42-year-old Film star and producer has previously enjoyed showing his somewhat softer side to a younger audience, having first read to Children on the popular channel back in 2016. He will read six new tales from 27th April, no doubt hoping to replicate the previous success that saw his original stories being requested on the BBC iPlayer more than a million times.

Hardy is no stranger to demanding roles, but this one will hopefully be slightly less onerous and physically demanding than some of his previous film action sequences in the likes of “Mad Max: Fury Road”, “Peaky Blinders” or “Taboo”. Not surprisingly then, he has an interest in martial arts and is a Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioner.

Current themes to help children cope

However, those tuning in to the story telling will have several opportunities to see him in the more relaxed company of his much-loved French bulldog, Blue, for a number of the sessions, which in line with current social distancing guidelines were recorded in his garden at home. The hopefully reassuring new bedtime stories, have been written with some pertinent modern-day themes such as problem-solving, long-distance friendship and courage being kept in mind.

Intentionally, they were specifically selected in order to help children to assimilate what is currently happening in the world and to help them process some of the confusing emotions they might be feeling as a result.

Re-assurance through hugging

The first story to be aired on 27th April will be a charming publication called “Hug Me” by Simona Ciraolo, which incorporates an underlying message about finding like-minded people and to continue to be yourself even if you don’t seem to fit in.

The story features a young cactus whose family seem to take little interest in offering the hugs and re-assurance that he so desperately wants from them.

Hardy himself sets the scene for the first episode by seeking to re-assure those tuning in by saying to the BBC : “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.”

Other stories covered by Hardy

The new bedtime series continues with “Under the Same Sky” by Robert Vescio and Nicky Johnston, and “There’s a Tiger in the Garden” by Lizzy Stewart. It also includes “Don’t Worry, Little Crab” by Chris Haughton and the picture-book “The Problem with Problems” by the combination of Rachel Rooney and illustrator Zehra Hicks.

Welcome news for young families during lockdown

As many families up and down the country come to grips with the ongoing struggle to cope with the demands of combining work and home life during these extremely unusual times, the news seems especially timely for those with young children to keep entertained and engaged.

Hardy himself is a father of three young children, so will be no stranger to family demands and expectations.

There will be six new stories in total to be read aloud by the statuesque star on the CBeebies channel, which are scheduled to be aired daily between Monday 27th April and Friday 1st May, with the final (for now) additional story to be aired some-time later at an as of yet unconfirmed date.