Once Upon A Time Online

Larry Lamb teams up with Plusnet to re-imagine trilogy of classic fairy tales for the digital generation


We've teamed up with Larry Lamb to re-imagine a trilogy of classic fairy-tales for the digital generation.

Once Upon a Time Online re-imagines some of the nation’s most well-loved classic tales, moving them into the modern era for young digital natives.

Storytelling continues to offer universal opportunities for learning and skill development in children, however, recent research suggests that the amount of ‘infrequent readers’ is on the rise between 6-17-year-olds*.

While new studies show the majority of parents say reading is a special time for bonding, the number of parents having the opportunity to enjoy shared storytime has been on a steady decline, with 85% admitting that they don’t read aloud to their children every day.

We've launched the series, developed for children under 10  to show how technology is a good thing for parents and children’s shared desire for family story time.

As 25%* of UK parents admit to changing the storylines of classic tales to fit today's values, the series puts a new spin on the timeless morals from beloved tales and tells them through a modern-day lens relevant to today’s digital world. The three stories reflect the language and lives of digitally savvy youngsters who’ve grown up online.

The stories are packed with references that will be appreciated by parents and kids alike - showing the lighter side to how technology is now entwined with our lives.



Larry, known for his roles as Mick in Gavin & Stacey, Archie Mitchell in EastEnders and as a contestant on I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!, takes readers into the magical story-verse of Once Upon a Time Online, to re-tell stories of big bad wolves, giant beanstalks and would-be pop princesses.

Speaking about the tales he has written, Larry Lamb said: “Fairy tales have always had a special place in the Lamb household, and with technology being such a big part in all our lives, it’s been both challenging and good fun adapting the tales! Everyone loves a good story, especially classics that remind us of our childhood, and so by giving well-loved, traditional fairy tales a 2019 update, more parents and kids will be able to sit down and enjoy story time together.”

Carolyn Bunting, Chief Executive of Internet Matters, said: “From reading online to creating videos, tech can bring huge educational benefits for children.The variety of apps and games available means that children can balance creativity, learning & education as well as connecting with family & friends online. Larry Lamb’s 21st century fairy tales are a great way of bringing the family together to enjoy precious story time in the modern age and we hope children’s imaginations will be inspired by Plusnet’s videos.”

CEO of Plusnet, Andy Baker said: "At Plusnet we're proud to care for our customers, so we wanted to create something really special for both adults and children to enjoy together. We know that children enjoy being read to, so by making the stories enjoyable for all the family, we hope to breathe some digital-life into the fairy tales and change the way people think about screen time and story time.We can’t wait to hear what families up and down the country think about what their favourite characters are up to in the digital age"




Good things happen to good people…

Cinderella has dreams of being a famous singer, and a hit talent show is coming to town. Sadly, her stepmother and stepsisters teased Ella about her appearance, telling her that no filter in the world could make her a star. But Ella gets a helping hand from her fairy godmother and is able to go to the show and sing her heart out. As the clock strikes midnight, Ella flees before the magic filter can wear off and anyone finds who she really is. She leaves behind one of her trainers, which gets stuck on some gum and slips off her foot. After an online search goes viral, the shoe finds its way back to Ella, and fits her foot. Ella is told never to be ashamed of who she is, and it’s not long before everyone knows her name. She goes on tour, singing to huge crowds every night, with #nofilter.


Jack and the Beanstalk

You should never be afraid to follow your dreams…

Jack and his mum live in the quiet countryside, where Jack longs for adventure. With no money for food, they must sell the family cow, so Jack puts it up for online auction. He sells the cow, but then something catches his eye – a “magic beanstalk” for sale that could change his life forever. Jack places a bid for the beanstalk…and wins! There’s a knock at the door later that day and Jack opens the door to find an enormous beanstalk, reaching into the clouds. Jack starts climbing and finds himself in the the lair of a terrifying giant. Jack befriends the giant, gives him a helping hand in how to sell things on his favourite site and heads back down the beanstalk. Upon his return, Jack’s adventure vlog becomes an internet sensation, earning enough money to buy all the family groceries.


Little Red Riding Hood

Don’t judge someone until you know the full story...

Red’s grandma is worried about her new neighbour, and when their video call cuts off one day, Red visits to make sure everything is okay. She journeys through the woods to Grandma’s house, where Grandma explains that her neighbour is a wolf who howls all night. Red goes to investigate, but finds that the wolf isn’t vicious at all, he’s just having teething problems in his new home. Thanks to his clumsy claws he’s sliced his TV aerial and broken the oven. He can’t watch his favourite shows and is starving. Red buys the wolf some mittens on her tablet (next day delivery), streams some TV and orders food. They spend the evening scoffing pizza and watching cat videos.