Jackanory is a long-running BBC children's television series that was designed to stimulate an interest in reading. The show was first transmitted on 13 December 1965, the first story being the fairy-tale Cap-o'-Rushes read by Lee Montague. Jackanory continued to be broadcast until 1996, clocking up around 3,500 episodes in its 30-year run. The final story, The House at Pooh Corner by A. A. Milne, was read by Alan Bennett and broadcast on 24 March 1996. The show returned on 27 November 2006 for two one-off stories.
The show's format, which varied little over the decades, involved an actor reading from children's novels or folk tales, usually while seated in an armchair. From time to time the scene being read would be illustrated by a specially commissioned still drawing, often by Quentin Blake. Usually a single book would occupy five daily fifteen-minute episodes, from Monday to Friday.
A spin-off series was Jackanory Playhouse (1972–85), which was a series of thirty-minute dramatisations. These included a dramatisation by Philip Glassborow of the comical A. A. Milne story "The Princess Who Couldn't Laugh".