On Saturday me and BG went to our first ever screening and it just happened to be for CBeebies. To say we we’re both excited when the invite dropped into my inbox would be an understatement.
We took the slow train down on Saturday and thankfully the screening was at Kings Place which is 5 minute walk from Kings Cross Station which meant no underground for us.
The room was all set out with activities for the children after the screening and coffee for the parents.
It was a bit strange for me, I’m used to going to events and meeting someone from the Parent Blogging world but I didn’t see anyone I knew or recognised, so I stalked the presenters instead!!
There was a little area set up with cushions and a TV screen for the preview so that where we headed first. Kay Benbow the controller of CBeebies was master of ceremonies and introduced herself and spoke about the channel. She obviously very proud that CBeebies won a BAFTA last year and was very excited about what was to come in 2011.
Kay also shared the good news that Justin Fletcher had signed a 2 year contract so parents can heave a sigh of relief! There will be a new show in the summer.
We were first shown as preview of what was to come this year, including a new show called Raa Raa the Noisy Lion which I thought was a great title as BG calls Lions Raa Raa’s!
Then we got onto the reason why we were there, to see screening of two new shows Rastamouse (yes you read that correctly) and Mr Bloom’s Nursery.
Mr Bloom’s Nursery was BG’s favourite of the day. Mr Bloom’s nursery is set on a allotment, with singing vegetables and is visited by ‘tiddlers’ that help Mr Bloom tend to his garden. Ben Faulks who plays Mr Bloom explained how the idea for show developed.
“The original concept for Mr Bloom’s Nursery came from a piece of walkabout theatre that I developed in 2006 called Vegetable Nannies which involved dressing up real fruits and vegetables as babies and pushing them around in a pram,” explains Ben. “I was playing a gardener who loved his vegetables and wanted to take them for a day out. It was very interactive and aimed at engaging with children and their families by getting them to feed the vegetables, change their nappies and care for them like little babies.
“That toured for a good few years and then I started looking for ways to develop it into a television show which lead to a meeting with CBeebies. I was teamed up with their in-house development team and together we grew the idea into Mr Bloom’s Nursery.”
BG loves gardening at home and with her Granddad who is a farmer so this really appealed to her. She did get slightly confused when watching the show and she looked over my shoulder and saw Mr Bloom standing behind her. She looked at him, looked back at the screen and back to him again.
It is a bright and bubbly show, another great concept from CBeebies. I really like shows that encourage children to participate.
Rastamouse is based on books by Genevieve Webster and Michael De Souza. Rastamouse is a crime solving, guitar playing, skateboarding mouse alongside his band members Zoomer and Scratchy. Rastamouse is voiced by Reggie Yates who was there on Saturday and who I may have scared!.
I have to say I found Rastamouse hilarious, it was enjoyable for both of us to watch and BG liked to bop around to the reggae music. I have a feeling this will be hit with both parents and Children.
Once the screenings were over the fun began. Tables filled with activities for children where available, plus face painting and balloon modelling.
There was also a chance to meet Alex Winters who presents CBeebies
Mr Bloom, who was helping the children plant cress seeds
Also Reggie Yates, Genevieve Webster and Michael De Souza who read a Rastamouse story, though by this time BG was running around.
Very soon it was time to get back on the train home. Though not without our little goody bag which contained a CBeebies magazine which kept BG occupied on the journey home, a t shirt, some great print outs of Rastamouse and Mr Blooms Nursery activities and some seeds to plant.
It was a great day and an honour to be invited along.
Rastamouse starts tonight at 4.40pm on CBeebies and Mr Blooms Nursery starts Monday 7th February.