Don't Hug Me I'm Scared

UK 2022, 105 mins
Directors: Becky Sloan, Joe Pelling, Baker Terry

+ panel and Q&A with creators Becky Sloan, Joseph Pelling and Baker Terry, executive producer James Stevenson Bretton, producers Hugo Donkin and Charlie Perkins (Channel 4 Head of Comedy).

What is a Job? Who are a family? And what is that horrible noise? Join three friends Red Guy, Yellow Guy and Duck as they learn about everything there is to know with the help of some friendly talking objects! But wait, maybe something’s not quite right here. Every teacher they meet on their journey seems a bit out of their depth. What lessons are they actually learning? Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared is a deeply unsettling comedy puppet show, think the Muppet Show relocated to Twin Peaks. It started life as a YouTube phenomenon. Eleven years and a quarter of a billion views later, main characters Red Guy, Yellow Guy and Duck are now inside your television trying to get out.

Becky Sloan, Joe Pelling and Baker Terry
Becky and Joe create inventive, intriguing miniature masterpieces that constantly push the boundaries of the form in which they are working. From psychedelic experiments with plasticine, to hauntingly strange puppet odysseys.

Baker Terry is their long term collaborator. He co-writes and co-directs Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared with them and voices the majority of their weird and wonderful characters.

Their work has earned them legions of obsessive fans worldwide.

The six episodes of the YouTube series of Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared have collectively racked up over a quarter of a billion views, with screenings at countless festivals worldwide including Annecy, SXSW, Pictoplasma, Anneheim and Sundance. It has gone from viral-hit to cult-phenomenon.

Constantly honing their myriad skills, Becky, Joe and Baker have lent their idiosyncratic talents to a diverse list of broadcasters including Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, Channel 4 and the BBC. Together, they aim to create work with an original new voice, bringing their colourful imaginations to life through experimental craft-focused techniques.

Charlie Perkins
Charlie is Head of Comedy at Channel 4. She joins the multi-award-winning Comedy department from Blink Industries where she was Head of Comedy, recently producing cult comedy series Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared which has just launched on Channel 4. She began her career working on shows such as Little Britain, French & Saunders, Benidorm and Mock the Week, moving on to become a Producer at the infamous alternative comedy venue The Invisible Dot, BBC Radio Comedy and Cave Bear Productions. In 2009, Charlie founded the Bristol Revunions whose alumni during her time included Jamie Demetriou, Charlotte Ritchie, Ellie White and Joe Hampson. In 2013, Charlie founded The Paddock comedy collective, an experimental, new material platform for performers and filmmakers. She is also one of the Co-Founders of the Live Comedy Association and Founder of the Free-Free Movement.

James Stevenson-Bretton
James is the Founder and Managing Partner of BAFTA-nominated and Emmy-winning production company Blink Industries, a development and production studio working across animation and live action, with a 120-seat animation studio in North London.

He is the Executive Producer of Channel 4’s Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared and Netflix’s Dead End: Paranormal Park.

Hugo Donkin
Hugo Donkin is a mixed media and live action creative producer based in London, UK. Beginning his career in documentary at, Hugo has since produced work across genres, including; music videos for The Gorillaz, Idris Elba, Mastadon and Little Simz, advertising, and animation shorts for the likes of Sky and Cartoon Network.

Hugo’s long term collaboration with friends Becky Sloan, Joe Pelling and Baker Terry on Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared, began with a request to help shoot a strange puppet video. The strange puppet videos went on to garner a quarter of a billion views, be selected at Sundance International Film Festival and win the Jury Award at SXSW. With the aim to push the craft of British Comedy to far more absurd places, he helped bring DHMIS to the world of broadcast comedy and co-produced six brand new episodes for Channel 4 and the BFI.

Hugo has since joined Blink Industries, where he continues his journey away from the factual and deeper into the absurd.

Created & Directed by: Becky Sloan, Joe Pelling, Baker Terry
Presented by: Channel 4, BFI YACF
Produced by: Blink Industries
Executive Producer: James Stevenson Bretton
Producers: Hugo Donkin, Charlie Perkins
Line Producers: Jenna Mills, Anna Purkis
Production Manager: Sandy Liddle
1st Assistant Director: Mark Lacey
Written by: Becky Sloan, Joe Pelling, Baker Terry, Sam Campbell
Additional Material: Natasha Hodgson, Charlie Perkins
Story Editor: Megan Ganz
Lead Puppeteers: Lesa Gillespie, Josh Elwell
Puppeteers: Charlotte Dubery, Jo Lakin, Fred Davis, Ashleigh Cheadle
Skins Artists: Joss Carter, Adam Mayne
Stop Motion Director ‘To Be Alive / Blob / Coffin Forming’: Sam Gainsborough
Stop Motion Directors ‘Grolton & Hovris’: Beattie Hartley, Anita Brūvere
CGI Animation Director ‘Deep Dream’: Cole Kush
Director of Photography: Edward Tucker
Editor: Nick Armstrong
Post Production & VFX Supervisor: William Kay
Assembly Editor: Matthew Dilworth
DI & Colour Grading: The Post Republic
Designers: Becky Sloan, Joe Pelling
Art Directors: Brin Frost, Rosalind Boulton
Puppet Supervisor: Isobel Irwin
Puppet Makers: Jo Lakin, Rosie Tonkin, Anita Brūvere, Maia Kirkman Richards
Senior Prop Maker: Rosie Tonkin
Stop Motion DOP: Edward Tucker
Stop Motion Art Director: Brin Frost
Composers: Charlie Pelling, Joe Pelling, Baker Terry
Sound Post-production: Fitzrovia Post
Mixer & Sound Designer: Adrian Walter
Sound Designer: Charlie Pelling
Additional Sound Design: Nicky Green
Dialogue Recordists: Charlie Pelling, Nicky Green
Trumpet Solo: Rory Hird

Cast for ‘Death’
Becky Sloan
Joe Pelling
Baker Terry
Kevin Eldon
George Fouracres
Sam Campbell
Katy Wix
Lolly Adefope

Cast for ‘Family’
Becky Sloan
Joe Pelling
Baker Terry
George Fouracres
Sam Campbell
Freya Parker
James Stevenson Bretton

UK 2022
Episode 2 ‘Death’ and Episode 3 ‘Family’
Total running time 105 mins

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Programme notes and credits compiled by the BFI Documentation Unit
Notes may be edited or abridged
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