A response from Marshall Cavendish

I’ve reported in the past that Marshall Cavendish has sold the rights to Story Teller to Eaglemoss, another publisher of partworks. However, I’ve found this message from a former MD of Marshall Cavendish, in reply to an email asking if Story Teller could ever be released again.


What a very moving note. I was the MD or Marshall Cavendish and I agree with you: Story Teller was indeed a very nice partwork.

Unfortunately the recent history of partworks in the UK has been quite unforgiving. When Story Teller was first launched in [the] UK it would have been supported by a sizeable TV promotion campaign, which presumably encouraged at least one of your parents or relatives to visit their newsagents on a regular basis.

A complete collection of Story Teller is such a wonderful reflection of commitment as behind it lies the fact that for 60 odd issues someone actually took the trouble to visit a newsagent each fortnight to buy it for a loved one.  Yes [Story Teller was] a collection of wonderful stories but also a reflection of commitment and love! If you have a set keep it, never throw it away

Back to the question, could it ever be published again? All things are possible, but as you may recall, many of the original stories were narrated by a veritable who’s who of the British theatrical establishment and the rights would have to be cleared all over again and that would be expensive. The challenge would be promotion, and again the cost.

I will give some thought to this as you rightly said, you are not alone in your appreciation of the series, but unfortunately in 2010 it all comes down to those wretched numbers!

Regards, Craig


53 thoughts on “A response from Marshall Cavendish

  1. Lybbie says:

    I am saddened by this response. I loved storyteller and am looking for it to give to my children. marketing in this day and age is easy, look howmany people are wanting to buy it, if costs are that much of an issue try doing it for charity such as children in need etc. I am sure celebrities would be willing to donate their time especially those who did it in the 80’s. Or just use new upcoming actors (who can read eloquently). There is great demand please produce them again

  2. ALISON says:

    I have the full first collection of story teller and loved it so much that unfortunately a couple of the tapes have disintegrated. I would love to see this in the shops again as i know that my children and hundreds of others would love to hear the magical stories for themselves.

  3. Zera says:

    I was a child when my mum bought me the full set of the Story Teller series 1 and 2. Unfortunately they have got lost over the years and I only have a couple left that are in good condition.
    I for one would LOVE to be able to buy the sets again, and the magazine books you got with them, because the illustrations were brilliant, and you could follow while listening, not only for my daughter, but for me as well. I can remember almost all the stories and The Happy Prince read by Tim Curry, was and is my all time favourite.
    I would be ecstatic to see these on the shelves again and would be happy to buy them, all over again……Please try and get them back on the shelves xx

  4. David Fick says:

    If partworks are struggling, maybe the way forward would be for the series to be released in some other format? I wouldn’t mind owning a series of storybooks with CDs that each featured either one long story, a series of short stories based on one character, a group of shorter stories collected by theme or style or a number of poems. Other book-and-audio combinations like that of far lesser quality seem sell to sell in droves, so why not these excellent, high quality stories and recordings?

  5. russell Campbell says:

    I am 32 years old now and remember every single story, my brother and sister and myself all listened to these stories when traveling in the car to the South of France from Scotland on holiday, this was every year for about 15 years. We had every one and to this day, 27 years later I can quote lines from almost every story. They are priceless and an absolute must that this is released again, this time on disc not tapes! The stories genuinely shaped you into a better person as most had a message to the listener, like the boy who cried wolf. PLEASE re release them!

  6. Mammy P says:

    Wow — this is great! I have almost all of the first series, and while the magazines are in good condition, unfortunately the tapes aren’t in the best of shape. My kids are 6 and 1 and I’d love to get them onto CD’s somehow. I wonder, if promotion is the problem, we couldn’t generate enough Internet hoopla to get it going?

    • timbertwig says:

      Hi. I think the biggest obstacle is having to clear the rights to the recordings all over again and ironing out royalty issues which is a mammoth job considering the number of stories and personalities involved in Story Teller. Both Marshall Cavendish and Eaglemoss (which now owns the rights to Story Teller) know how popular the series. It’s just unfortunate that they can’t simply republish and resell Story Teller and that there are a lot of legal issues to worry about 😦

  7. Nicola says:

    I loved the Story Teller tapes – I still have over twenty of them, and my children listen to them everyday. These stories were a magic part of my childhood.

  8. Mary Beasley says:

    It’s wonderful to see how many people remember the Storyteller stories with such love and nostalgia and what an impact they have made, either on mothers of children (like me) or on the children themselves. I am sure that if these were re-issued on CD with the magazines, they would be a complete sell out all over again. Characters such as Gobbolino and Timbertwig stand out particularly but the illustrations were brilliant and my Christmas issues were very nearly worn out.
    Perhaps it will only take someone with vision to set the wheels in motion to raise the profile of this wonderful series once again. This should be done!

  9. Sally says:

    There is a generation of children out there who no longer get to hear these magical tales (unless very fortunate) and that is a crying shame. As a teacher I am always amazed by how infrequently some children get to engage with storytelling. Although the world is full of TV and computer games my daughter prefers reading through my set of story-tellers, just as I did as a child. I no longer have the tapes, but she derives just as much pleasure looking at the beautiful illustrations – I have even photocopied some of the colouring pages for her as I never managed to colour them all in! The MD of Marshall Cavendish was right when he said that owning a set of storyteller showed real love – as someone had to go to the newsagents every 2 weeks to buy them. I would love to do the same for my child and I am sure there are lots of other parents who would do the same. It’s just lovely for children to have a moment of quiet immersion in a world of magic – away from the chaos of modern life. Please bring them back!

    • Andy says:

      I definatly have to agree with this, as a child, i loved nothing more than reading along to the books while listening to the tapes, it gave me a release from my parents somewhat messy seperation and as such i would love for this to be re-released. either weekly or as a collectors box-set!!!! 🙂

    • Nicole Evans says:

      I totally agree with you Sally. Being a teacher has allowed me to share these stories with a new generation of children. Lovely tales that have not been disneyfied or linked to computer games or tv shows. My students love listening to the stories at rest time and I even get complaints when it is time to turn the tapes off to go outside and play!

  10. jeni murray says:

    i have been playing these to my children from here and they love them! so much so that i have been using the sound record feature on my laptop to record the story to put onto disc for them. when i have finished they will be so happy!! unfortunately it seems that not all the stories are here but i will search for them on the internet to see if i can find them!! thank you so much for putting them on here!! i had the complete set as a child and wore the tapes out listening to them. it would be so good to see them re released on cd as one person said even if they were read by other actors.

    • Pat Roberts says:

      Jeni-which website do you refer to as “here”.Like you we want to capture the stories onto CD but for our Grandchildren as our daughter played them so much that some a s bit worn!

  11. Hayden Cavendish says:

    I’ve been looking for a complete set of Story Teller on CD, and I thought I’d let you know that I found a guy who does them… I know it’s not the real thing, but it’s nice just to have a set to play and remind myself of all those forgotten childhood memories. Can’t wait for it to arrive!

    I found it here: http://www.steditions.99k.org

  12. Sal Hudson says:

    I really wish they would release them again or on a CD with books to accompany they are such great stories and that music makes me tingle when I here it! great website

  13. CHRIS TATE says:

    I have original set of 26 Issues and 2 Bumper Christmas editions in their folders, together with all the cassettes in their case. Can anyone give me any idea what they are worth these days. What beautiful stories and art-work. Their are marked Marshall Cavendish 1982/83 in mint condition. They are called STORY TIME not Story Teller. Guess they changed the name for Australia. They were issued every fortnight at a cost of $4.95 and Christmas one at $7.95. They have exactly the same picture on the folder they are kept in as the one the Story Teller.

    • CHRIS says:

      CHRIS :I have original set of 26 Issues and 2 Bumper Christmas editions in their folders, together with all the cassettes in their case. Can anyone give me any idea what they are worth these days. What beautiful stories and art-work. Their are marked Marshall Cavendish 1982/83 in mint condition. They are called STORY TIME not Story Teller. Guess they changed the name for Australia. They were issued every fortnight at a cost of $4.95 and Christmas one at $7.95. They have exactly the same picture on the folder they are kept in as the one the Story Teller.

  14. Frank McGowan says:

    I still have my original collection and will never part with it. Such a truly heartfelt response from Marshall Cavendish. I love to read things like this where people are truly passionate about their projects!

    I do hope we see “Storyteller” again. I know I’ll be passing on my collection for as many generations as possible, as being honest this collection is timeless.

    Since “growing up” I now work in film and television, having launched my own company in 2008. Among other projects I recently green lit an interactive kids show I concepted a few years ago that reflects in my mind a lot of what the “Storyteller” series gave to me as a child – these values that a lot of television does not have now in such an over-saturated market.

    Although the premise for the show – named “Tell Me a Story” is completely different to that of the “Storyteller” series, I really wanted to pay homage and have done this respectfully through a similar style of artwork for the stories, and in the theme tune. “Tell Me a Story” is live action (set in a toy shop, with our main character as storyteller), and also includes a cute child puppet named “Millie” who comes to life after the lights go down.

    More info on the series is available in request if anyone would find interest or wishes to know more. It’s something I’m quite excited about for 2012.

  15. Brandon says:

    These stories are truely amazing and should be released again, but a bit more up to date, cd/usb/minidisk/tablet/ebook… etc

    im pretty sure every person that had this in their childhood, would buy it for their children or just for themselves maybe definitly gifts for family and friends that have children.

    People just need to see its available.

    Please digitally remaster Story Teller.

    I can only imagine this doing well, very well. So many more & efficient ways of distributing it globally and so many more people to experience it.

    Its the right thing to do! Grogre the Ogre would do it!

  16. Gianna says:

    It Must be released again!
    I am 31 & have just had a big clear out of my mums loft, having moved out 6 years ago, and have stumbled upon all my childhood books & tapes but more meaningfull to me is the Story Teller books. In particular my Christmas Story Teller just leaves me with the most lovely memories..i listened to this one over & over. I have it in front of me with the tape & i will definatly be poping it into my stereo to take me back.
    I really was hoping before stubbling upon this site there would be somewhere i could still buy them – not for me, now for my 2 year old. They are just so wonderfull…i would again visit a news agent each fortnight to collect them all over again.

  17. Gianna says:

    ….Please please please please please please please……truely consider it…bring them back with cd, its a must.

  18. Gianna says:

    I have just searched on Ebay – there are Story Teller books with tapes!
    Some are being sold by a shop called ‘Music Memory Lane’, rated a ‘Top Seller’. However im a bit begrudged paying from £10 for one, but then they know you cant but them any more!
    On the up there are people selling for your bid, for more then just the one!
    Happy hunting ;0)

  19. peter says:

    ah! Tamara Moore beat me to it. Was just about to say that. I downloaded the torrent myself and it was the first torrent i downloaded. I overcame my scrooples

  20. McMush says:

    I loved the Storry teller magazines when I was younger and was happy in the knowledge they were in my parents attic. When I became a teacher I asked for them to use in my class as they are such a great resource, only to be told they had been GIVEN AWAY to a library van! Gutted!

    So I keep rubbing in how much they are to replace :oD
    I got Story Teller 2 for £50 off ebay a couple of years ago, but they are now £120 on Amazon per set!

    Just off to ring my mum… ;o)

  21. Patti B says:

    I bought all the Storyteller 1 and 2 for my kids along with the folders and cases. The quality was fantastic and the readers were an absolute pleasure. Unfortunately we lost them in a house fire.

    We now have our first grandchild and I would love to buy a CD version for her. I really hope they come back. They would have to be the original readers though, I can’t imagine “King John was not a good man…..” in any other voice. The idea of a charitable donation in lieu of royalties is a good one, no one is making anything from them now, what about Great Ormond St!

  22. Jodi says:

    I loved Storyteller as a kid, my brother and I grew up with the second series. I remember my Grandma used to visit every Thursday evening and she would bring a copy with her. Me and my brother would watch Knight Rider (or A Team – I cant remember) then listen to the new tape before bedtime (life was sweet!). She also got us one magazine from series one and the christmas editions. Unfortunately they got damaged and lost over time. Eventually my mum hit finacial trouble, couldnt pay the mortgage and we got evicted. It was sudden and I had to leave a lot of my things behind, including what was left of the story teller collection (which wasn’t in the best condition after years of constant use). I regretted it for a long time until I managed to buy an almost complete binder set on ebay a couple of years ago for £70. I was so happy, I felt like I had gotten a memento back from my childhood. It meant a lot.

    Although I don’t have the tapes, I am happy to have the magazines and hopeful I will find the two issues that are missing from the set. I am looking forward to reading them to my kids (when I get round to having them).

    I have aquired a few issues since then, with tapes!

  23. Paul T says:

    Loved this series. I had the complete 2 sets and the Christmas editions. Used to look forward to going to the local paper shop for my new edition. Still vividly remember the first edition at 5 years old listening to the emporers new clothes, gobbillino the cat and the troll (which was slightly scary!)Unfortunately my mother gave my set away to my cousin when I had grown a bit older mores the pity. Wish they would re-release this again as I have a 3 year old son who would love these timeless stories as I did.

  24. Wendy Duncan, Aberdeen says:

    I am proud to say that I still have my full story teller 2 collection, binders and casette case also. My mum has just retrieved them from the loft for my niece and nephew to listen to and they adore them as much as I did. When I listened to them again I couldnt believe how much I was transported back to my childhood. I listened to the stories and read the books so often I immediately remembered the voices, music and pictures.

  25. Bryn says:

    My mom bought these for me when I was a little girl. We would go to the CNA (a bookshop here in South Africa) every second Friday night and go to the little window where you collected books/magazines etc and I’d get my new Story Teller. I’d be so excited we’d have to listen to the tape in the car on the way home. We had the complete collection, including the binders and the cassette cases. My favourite stories were Grogre the Golden Ogre and Diggersaur, so much so that I remember the music and voices more than 20 years on. I gave my collection to a little girl who loves reading and who gets immense joy from these stories. If they were rereleased as a collection, I’d love to get my hands on a copy because these stories led to a lifelong love of reading for me. It’s a gift I’d like to give to my own children one day.

  26. J9 says:

    Hi all,

    So glad to have come across this site-I was looking to find out if there was ever a CD version of Storyteller released…although my daughter has the full set, binders / cassettes and cases, I wanted to buy a new set for my grandaughter, aged 5…

    Still remember with fondness, the stories-a particular favourite was The Juju Man xoxoxo

  27. Angela says:


    I’m looking to sell my complete collection of Storyteller 2 (with the binders and case). My mum bought them for me when I was a kid and they inspired me to become an illustrator and writer. Since then they’ve been stored in a dry attic until recently when my folks moved and gave them back to me. Even though I love the nostalgia of looking back through the stories I don’t have any children to enjoy them as much as I did so it seems a shame to keep them locked up for another 20 years or until the tapes decay.

    Anyway, after looking on Amazon and Ebay I’ve decided to try and sell the complete set for £350 (ono) and thought I’d post here to see if anyone was interested first before I try anywhere else.

    please contact me on angela_b79@hotmail.com if you’re interested.


  28. JT says:

    My sisters and I grew on these books in Australia. We would certainly support the collection being redone on CD. I hope many more people add their opinions to this site and and the powers that be may decide it’s worth their while. Thanks to those who set up this wonderful site.

  29. Claire says:

    As everyone else has already said on here – I would also buy them if they were released again. I have one Little Storyteller tape and book and also the Christmas 2 book and tape but they are a bit worn out now! I now have a son who I would give the series to when he’s a bit older if they were available to buy. I loved Richard Brier’s version of Wind in the Willows and A Christmas Carol read by Joss Ackland, used to have it on every Christmas for many years.

  30. Janice van Jaarsveld says:

    I had the whole set of Story Teller + 1 & 2 the case where the tapes were kept, the magazines, and tapes. the files where you filed the magazines, the whole toot.
    I was very angry at my daughter when she gave the whole lot away to children we did not even know. I wanted to keep them so if I had grandchildren one day I could give it
    to them. I still feel upset if I think of it. Now I would like to order them again. I heard
    that CNA will be selling them again, but it does not sound as if it is the exact same
    Story Teller.
    Jancie van Jaarsveld

  31. Michelle Kleinhans says:

    Hi there! I would love to have this set on CD, I’m sure my collection as a little girl is in a box in my mom’s garage, definately going to salvage them asap! Thought of this the other day as we are trying for a family and just thought what endless hours of joy these books brought me and my brothers. I would buy it in a heartbeat! Every child should experience this magic!

  32. Ena says:

    I would love to have the collection on CD like so many others. I am from Austria and I own the cassette version in German. It would be great to have it on CD in different languages! I support your quest!

    Let me know what I can do to support a re-release!

  33. kjbroadhurst says:

    Please please please bring it back for our childrens sake! Children need these stories, there is nothing now and children need to become re-introduced to stories that trigger imagination. These stories inspired me to be a writer… please bring them back!

    I found them on Youtube and introduced them to my two sons 2 and 4 and they now watch an episode before bed every night!!! There favourite it Grogre the Ogre and that was my favourite too. I love Zagon!

    Please. please, please!!!!!!!!

  34. unio06 says:

    with many more ways to advertize than back then. if anything the fans of this could help get it back out there or even get to together to try and get the funds to get it published again 😥

  35. ellen says:

    I would love to see and again own a set of little storyteller tapes and books so many happy childhood memories

  36. FC says:

    Does anyone know where I can get hold of the songs from the Story Teller Song book? We’re expecting our first child in a few months, and I would dearly love to have these songs to play her…

  37. Croftwoman says:

    My daughters absolutely loved these tapes & magazines in the ’80s. We had both full sets, with magazine binders and the cassette holder cases but – sadly – as a result of many relocations in the interim, these were passed on to younger friends/ neighbours.
    With our first grandchildren expected this week, how I would love to collect the magazines (with CDs this time around) all over again.

    Please, please, please find a way to re-release them!

  38. FransDotir says:

    Is anyone else familiar with the foreign language versions of Story Teller? I first came across the German version, Erzähl Mir Was, while visiting my husband’s family in Germany in the early 80s. My husband eventually bought the entire set for me in German and I still have them. I was a school librarian here in the States at the time and just getting into storytelling. Not knowing they were also published in English, I translated several of them from German to English! Later on, one of my students told me she had seen encountered the series in Greece while visiting her grandparents there. I’m wondering how many other languages Marshall Cavendish translated the series into and what the other titles were. Also wondering who were the actors that read the English version? The German actors were excellent and included people like Maria Schell.

  39. Francesca Quaradeghini says:

    I had almost forgotten that music!!! Thanks for putting this site together you unravelled a load of memories in one instant! I now have to confront my parents as I was still under the illusion that storyteller was delivered by the postman every Saturday morning in the old school first post … Had they surreptitiously placed it on the doormat the night before to ensure a lie in .. as Craig suggests… . Surely a one off edition of all series with cd boxse isn’t a lot to ask…If it came down to funding it couldn’t it be crowd funded… ?

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