Anyone out there with small children may have seen a familiar face pop up on their television screens last week! I was absolutely delighted to be asked to feature in an episode of JoJo & Gran Gran entitled ‘It’s Time To Find Street Art’, where I took on the challenge of painting a lovely summer house with a few helping hands.
For anyone who isn’t an avid CBeebies viewer, JoJo & Gran Gran is a wonderful programme aimed at young children, following a little girl, our lovely heroine JoJo, as she spends time exploring the world and doing fun activities with her wise and loving Gran Gran.
This commission has an extra special place in my heart, as this is the programme my nephew and I loved to marathon when he came to visit. I was looking for a programme we could enjoy together while I did his hair that had excellent representation and I came across JoJo & Gran Gran. It is bright, educational and an all-round fantastic programme.
One of my favourite things about these types of projects is the fun, collaborative process involved. Not only did I have the chance to work with live action producer Holly Shepherd and live action director Luk Ying Yick, who I have previously worked with on Colours and Blue Peter, but as I had a lot of creative freedom and direction for my segment, I was able to bring in both Withington Walls and L’Arche, a wonderful Withington-based SEN charity.
Once we had the location of the summer house confirmed, I was able to develop a beautiful, bright, cheerful design that would get the children involved in painting and hopefully inspire children and their parents to get creative outside this summer! The summer house was designed so that it worked for both L’Arche long-term and would fit the vibe of the Cbeebies programme. I made sure there were some really fun, tactile elements for the children to get involved in, with handprint flowers, using paint pens to draw straight onto the windows and painting large sections of leaves.
Everyone was super excited about the project and we had a great time over a couple of days filming last summer, dodging rain showers and revelling in the glorious sunshine, filming and creating together.
Being part of a JoJo & Gran Gran episode was such a special experience. I can’t wait to share the episode with my nephew and watch it together with a cup of tea, a glass of juice and a biscuit - I hope you will join us!