Tom Hardy to offer social distancing message during CBeebies bedtime story

The actor will read a different story each night this week.

Tom Hardy will urge children to remember their loved ones are always with them, even if they cannot hug them due to social distancing, during a CBeebies bedtime story.

The Hollywood actor, 42, first read a story to children on the channel in 2016 and since then his stories have been requested more than one million times on BBC iPlayer.

On Monday, he will read Hug Me by Simona Ciraolo, about Felipe, a young cactus who really needs a hug, but his family “just isn’t the touchy-feely kind”, so he sets off to find a friend.

He will open the story by saying: “Hello. I’m Tom. 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.”

Finishing the story, he will tell the channel’s young viewers: “So, in the end Felipe found someone to hug. It’s not always possible to hug the ones that you love. But they’re always there, in your heart.

“It’s time for bed. Off you go and I look forward to seeing you again for another bedtime story. Good night.”

Swimming with Men Premiere – London
Tom Hardy and his wife Charlotte Riley (Ian West/PA)

Hardy will read a new story each day from April 27 to May 1, with the date of a sixth story yet to be confirmed.

The “Tom Week” of stories was recorded in his garden, in line with social distancing guidelines, and he was accompanied by his French bulldog Blue for some of the sessions.

Other stories will include Under The Same Sky by Robert Vescio and Nicky Johnston, which will air on April 28 and is about two children on opposite sides of the world who crave friendship.

CBeebies Bedtime Story is at 6.50pm on CBeebies and on BBC iPlayer.

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