Adastra Development is a new company, established by Writer/Producer Mellie Buse and Producer/Director Martin Franks to develop new IPs across a range of demographics and platforms. The company was born out of the highly successful boutique Indie, Adastra Creative Ltd,  set up by Mellie Buse and Jan Page to produce their top rating and Bafta winning show “Grandpa in my Pocket” for CBeebies (which has sold to over 100 territories) and the Bafta nominated Ha Ha Haires for Turner EMEA.


mellie-buseMellie Buse was the Head Writer and Series Producer for Jim Henson’s The Hoobs, which has been running on the UK’s Channel 4 for over ten years and won a Bafta in 2002. She then ran the writing on a Henson Co-Pro with Australia called Bambaloo.  Along with colleague Jan Page she co-wrote and produced Grandpa in My Pocket and Ha Ha Hairies both of which have had numerous Bafta nominations and wins in England and Wales.  They also wrote an entire series called Five Minutes More for ABC Australia, along with episodes of Fireman Sam and The Magic Roundabout.  They script edited Guess with Jess and developed Toby's Toy Circus.

Mellie was Head Writer on the award winning Charlie and Lola, was involved in the development of Dr Seuss’ Cat in the Hat and has written on many well known kids' brands including Angelina Ballerina, The New Adventures of Captain Pugwash, Jess The Border Collie and Mopatop's Shop.     Mellie has also written numerous songs including two pop operas and is a highly experienced voice director, having spent much of her early career in Audio publishing and radio.

martin-franksMartin Franks is an experienced Producer, Director and Voice Director who Lead Directed both Grandpa in My Pocket 4/5 and The Ha-Ha Hairies. He directed Waybuloo for the BBC and What's Your News? for Nickelodeon. He also directs and produces Corporates and Commercials. He worked in Social Welfare for a number of years including projects in prison, with probationers and other government departments such as the Cabinet Office. He is also a qualified teacher and has worked extensively with Children and Young People and lectured in Communications. He is responsible for developing new Adult and older teen drama and digital content.

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Adastra Development are pleased to announce the birth of Magic2Media Ltd. This is a new company, created to service the creation and production of all our new digital IPs. We are already in production at Magic2Media with a number of shows, including new mixed content show 'Bitziboos', which has launched on an exciting preschool multi-channel network, TaDa Kids.  A slate of other IPs are currently being developed, including 'Shloppy' a puppet character currently in production, and 'My Magic Theatre', a charming take on classic fairy tales that is also in production. You can visit Magic2Media for more information here.


It was a joy to work with The Royal Opera House late last year on “The National Nutcracker” challenge. Hosted by Radzi Chinyanganya, a series of short films designed to support the new Royal Ballet Schools’ initiative were shot at The ROH featuring interviews with dancers from the Royal Ballet along with clips from the iconic Nutcracker production. We greatly look forward to working with The Royal Opera House again this July on a project 'Create and Sing Carmen'. 


Adastra Development is delighted to be partnering with Creative Skillset for a second time to provide experience for trainees across all areas of the company as part of their co-investment scheme. After a very successful first scheme carried out over the winter months and into the new year, we have two new schemes starting from this spring training young people as Production Managers, Digital Editors, App Developers and 2D Animators. 

Grandpa in my Pocket

In its first year Mellie Buse and Jan Page’s company Adastra Creative, was commissioned to make a live action family sit com on a pre-school channel – a global first. The show has become a major Family ratings success for the BBC. Grandpa in my Pocket, broadcasting on CBeebies, starring James Bolam and a host of prime-time actors such as Emilia Fox, Geoffrey Palmer, Meera Syal and Anne Reid, The show continues to be a huge ratings hit and has now gone to five seasons – 118 episodes all told. Martin Franks directed on all series and lead directed Series 3-5.




Ha Ha Hairies

In 2009 Cartoon Network commissioned Mellie Buse and Jan Page’s company Adastra Creative to produce the Ha-Ha Hairies to be broadcast across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. This is a unique mixed media show all about a world in which two fairies have turned everything hairy – and the miserable antagonist Boris Boo-Hoo who owns the shampoo factory. 52 Episodes of hilarity, songs, dances and hairiness. Martin Franks lead directed.




Adastra Creative Ltd continues to manage all aspects of Grandpa in my Pocket and Ha Ha Hairies. If you would like to know more about either of these properties then please contact:

Mellie Buse -

Jan Page -

Or find out more about Adastra Creative here

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