Help Dora Help – Voting Finishes This Friday!

Help Dora HelpFive nurseries selected from submissions from across The UK have been chosen as the finalists for Nick Jr.’s Help Dora Help Campaign. The initiative is supported by The Prince’s Foundation for Children & the Arts and is designed to support nurseries, preschools and children’s centres in their educational curriculum. Almost 300 nurseries and preschools submitted an entry to this year’s campaign with applicants from Cumbria, Derbyshire, London and Lancashire elected as finalists. The winner will be decided by members of the public that vote at

“The quality of entries for Help Dora Help was extraordinary and gave a great picture of the areas of educational interest across UK preschools,” said Helena Dowling, Nick Jr., presenter and Help Dora Help judge. “With funding required for things such buying a minibus, to creating a mini beast learning zone, the finalists each demonstrate a desire to offer more educational opportunities for their pupils. I am looking forward to seeing which entry the public chooses to receive the award.”

Voting is now open to decide which of the finalist will receive the award. Voting is open to anyone within the UK and voters can take a look at all five finalists and learn more about their submission at Voting is open until 2nd November with the winner of the award announced on 19th November.

Inspired by the adventurous spirit of Dora, Help Dora Help seeks to encourage support education, development and exploration in the pre-school environment.

Help Dora Help

The five finalists for this year’s campaign are:
Greystoke Under 5’s, Greystoke, Cumbria – The rural volunteer playgroup would use the award to revamp their outdoor play area as well as their kitchen.

Oakmount Day Nursery, Preston, Lancashire – The nursery would use the award to purchase a minibus, ideally equipped with exploratory items such as a metal detector and telescope.

The Old Forge Day Nursery, Findern, Derbyshire – The nursery would use the award to build a log cabin with sensory room, a library and dance studio.

Parkfield Children’s Centre, West Hendon, London – The Children’s Centre would develop their Early Years playground to reflect various countries, cultures, seasons and festivals.

Walton Lane Nursery School & Children’s Centre, Nelson, Lancashire – The Centre would create a bug hotel so that children could increase their knowledge of mini beasts.

I’m having a good think to see who I’ll cast my vote for… they all are such worthy finalists!

About The Prince’s Foundation for Children & the Arts:

The Prince’s Foundation for Children & the Arts is an educational charity which champions the power of the arts to transform and enrich the lives of disadvantaged children across the UK. The charity’s projects have helped to create long-term partnerships between arts organisations and their local schools. Two core programmes, Start and Quests both highlight the potential of learning outside the classroom, enabling children to visit their local cultural venue to work with professional artists, and then developing this experience through class-based projects and activities. Since 2006 the charity has worked with over 100,000 children and hopes to substantially increase this figure in the next few years. For more info please visit

Help Dora Help Nick Jr

New Peppa Pig Episodes on Nick Jr in November!


Peppa Pig Logo
You may have seen the trailers – we certainly have. Actually, even saying Peppa Pig is back is a bit wrong, as Peppa Pig and her friends never ever go away – you’ve always a good chance of turning on the tv and they’ll be on!

So we’re set to see another batch of new episodes – and here’s the info! (and interestingly enough, none of the new episodes we saw at the BFI are included in this batch – though we were told they’d air around December time)

The episodes will air at 8am and 6 pm from November 5th 2012 on Nick Jr – and here’s what to expect…

November 5th
Madame Gazelle’s Leaving Party
Madame Gazelle announces she is leaving the playgroup. The children are very sad to lose their favourite teacher and decide to throw her a leaving party.

Desert Island
When a fishing trip goes wrong, leaving Grandpa Pig and Grampy Rabbit stranded on a desert island, Captain Daddy Dog is the only one able to save them. He soon realises he misses the sea after all.

After smelling Granny Pig’s perfume de lavender, Peppa experiments with the flowers in the garden to create her own special smell.

Children’s Fete
The school roof has a leak, again! The children organise a fete to raise money for a new roof.

The Aquarium
Goldie the Goldfish is feeling a little lonely, so Peppa takes her to the aquarium. With all the different fish surely Peppa can find a new friend for Goldie?

George’s Racing Car
Peppa, George and Grandpa Pig are sitting inside watching motor racing on the television, Granny Pig tells them all to go out and enjoy the sunshine. Inspired by the racing, Grandpa Pig builds George his own racing car.

The Little Boat
Daddy Pig is left behind when everyone takes Grampy Rabbit’s little boat to the riverside picnic spot. Will someone remember him and save him some cake?

The Sandpit
Peppa and her friends are building a desert island, in the sandpit. They add a forest, a lake, houses, and shops. It’s all going very well until George and Richard’s dinosaurs turn up…

Night Animals
It is night-time at Grandpa and Granny Pig’s house, Peppa and George have stayed up late to help hunt for slugs and snails. But what other night animals will they find?

Peppa Pig, Ben & Holly and friends at the NFT

Peppa Pig, Ben and Holly and Friends at the NFT was an amazing event where we got to meet the people behind the voices on Ben & Holly’s Little Kingdom and Peppa Pig.

Peppa Pig, Ben and Holly and Friends at the NFT featured the works of Neville Astley, Mark Baker and Phil Davies – who of course are from Astley Baker Davies who make Peppa Pig, Ben & Holly’s Little Kingdom and The Big Knights.

Peppa Pig Workshop

It really was a whole day event – as prior to the start of it the foyer was set up with paper and tons of crafty things so you could make your own Peppa Pig mask (with a polystyrene cup and a paper plate!), or paint/colour in some Peppa characters on paper – or even design your own scene then make your own plasticine characters so you could then make a stop-start animation. There was tons to do, and even better it was free – you didn’t need a ticket for this part.

The part you needed the ticket for, however, was brilliant – Peppa Pig, Ben and Holly and Friends at the NFT meant everyone sat and were introduced to Astley, Baker and Davies who then chatted about the shows, answering questions from the audience as well as doing giveaways and prizes (H won for her drawing of Peppa Pig!).

Peppa Pig Workshop

We got to see three new Peppa Pig episodes – ‘Mr Bull in a China Shop’, ‘The Olden Days’ and ‘Grampy Rabbit on the Moon’ as well as a new Ben & Holly one which we can’t remember the exact name of, but it involves bees (and is very funny) – these episodes may not screen until December time, so that was a pretty ace exclusive! We also saw a remastered Big Knights episode ‘Clockwork Knights’ which went down well.

There was plenty of participation from the audience – they invited kids up to sing the Peppa song (H was too shy) and almost all the questions were asked by children.

Peppa Pig Workshop

Then the bit we’d really been looking forward to – the voices behind the characters Daddy Pig (Richard Ridings), Mummy Pig (Morwenna Banks), Peppa Pig (Harley Bird), Miss Rabbit (and Nanny Plum) (Sarah Ann Kennedy), as well as the narrator (John Sparkes) all came on the stage. Harley Bird who plays Peppa brought on her BAFTA that she’d won (first time I’ve ever seen one of those!) and they all chatted, swapping anecdotes and answering questions. Of all the voices, the most immediate were those of Richard Ridings and Sarah Ann Kennedy – both of whom have been voice-spotted while out and about.

Morwenna Banks, Richard Ridings, Sarah Ann Kennedy, Harley Bird and John Sparkes - the voices of Peppa Pig (and Ben & Holly)

Morwenna Banks, Richard Ridings, Sarah Ann Kennedy, Harley Bird and John Sparkes – the voices of Peppa Pig (and Ben & Holly)

So, what did we learn? A days work at Astley Baker Davies results in seven seconds of a Peppa Pig episode – but that can be several episodes at the same time. They’re done in batches and then sent – so the ones we saw today were only very recently finished.

Brian Blessed says too many swear words for him to attend today (which I think is very funny), and a lot of the stories that involve his characters are based on anecdotes he’s told while recording his parts.

The Big Knights wasn’t a massive success – and Astley, Baker and Davies all realised it was due to them not targeting the animation and knowing who their audience was. They went back to the drawing board (so to speak) and had a re-think, knowing they needed a family with a mum, dad and two children… fast forward and Peppa Pig was born!

The parts are recorded ahead of the animation being made – rather than afterwards like you might assume. I’m not sure if they were joking, but they did say it’s the first time they’ve all been in the same room together!

There are no plans for a Peppa Pig film as they don’t want to mess with the five-minute format (hurrah!), but they are working on a Big Knights film. The Big Knights was shown on the BBC, there are thirteen episodes and it has recently been updated and remastered so it’s suitable for our televisions these days – and has been recently brought out on DVD.

Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom is fun for them to work on, as Peppa episodes feature things that have happened or have been dreamt about, whereas with magic you can do anything which gives them a much broader start to work from.

Peppa Pig Workshop

That’s about all I can remember. Peppa Pig, Ben and Holly and Friends at the NFT was great – considering you had a lot of very young kids there, attention spans weren’t too bad – it started with chats, a quick episode, then more chats – and it flowed well. When the kids didn’t really want to listen to the talking, the characters on stage was interesting – H still can’t quite get her head around Nanny Plum and Miss Rabbit being the same person’s voice.

The actors (voice actors?) on stage all introduced themselves in their character voices, and we found out that quite often they’ll try different  accents for different characters – Morwenna Banks gave us a quick Madame Gazelle (alas no Bing Bong Song), and the narrator John Sparkes is also the voice of Mr Potato – as well as several other characters! (which he did for us).

You could see how much everyone enjoys working on the shows (which are made in the UK, in their offices on Regent Street) – and how they’re not running out of ideas – there’s always something to write about – the original Peppa, Lily Snowden-Fine’s mum told them a story which was made into an episode – which I think is brilliant! Imagine that – an everyday event becomes a kids tv episode – how cool?

The BFI hold monthly kids events – and we’ll be on the lookout for more – this was a great event – we were in the NFT from 11am until around 4ish which is quite a long day – but there was so much to do that time flew by. I’d highly recommend it and will be going again.

The Big Knights

The Big Knights

Disclaimer – I was given free tickets for this event, but this was down to taking too long to buy them rather than for the purpose of review. Thankyou to Liz at the BFI for all your help! 

Peppa Pig, Ben and Holly and Friends at the BFI

There’s something really cool happening at the BFI this weekend – particularly if you’re a fan of Ben & Holly and Peppa Pig.

Peppa Pig LogoThe creators of both shows, Astley Baker Davis are letting us into their world – you can meet some of the creative people behind the programme as well as watch some new episodes that have never been seen on tv, plus get a glimpse at a rarely seen classic episode of The Big Knights remastered in HD.

The event is designed for fans of the shows who may be curious how they’re made, as well as getting to see the characters on the big screen.

Ben and Holly's Little Kingdom

Present on the day will be the creators of Peppa Pig; Neville Astley and Mark Baker, Producer Phil Davies, Director of Animation Joris Van Hulzen and their fabulous voice cast Harley Bird (Peppa), Morwenna Banks (Mummy Pig), Richard Ridings (Daddy Pig), Jon Sparkes (Narrator) and Sarah Ann Kennedy (Miss Rabbit).

There’s also a free Peppa Pig Workshop – with a chance to create your own characters – anything from humans or animals like George and Peppa – or even elves or fairies like Ben and Holly and you also get to learn how an episode is put together.

There’s a few tickets left! As they say, ‘this is one funday that Peppa Pig and Ben & Holly fans simply cannot miss’!

Tickets are £5 or £10, the event is in association with BAFTA and is on Sunday September 9th at 1.30pm and it’s suitable for ages 3 and up. HURRY!

Nickelodeon’s Dora The Explorer – LIVE REVIEW! Search for the City of Lost Toys

Wow. Okay, we got back just now from a fabulous afternoon at the Apollo Theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue – where we got to see Dora The Explorer Live – in her search for the City of Lost Toys.

Dora Stage 2012


What we love the most about Dora is how interactive it is – you’re invited to shout out and join in, and particularly in the case of M, yell at the top of your voice “SWIPER NO SWIPING!!!” in an absolutely brilliant way – it was a joy to watch, it really was. H was quite reserved to start with, though was soon dancing like a butterfly and pointing or shouting to Dora where things were, and got into the swing of it fairly quickly.

So, the story? It’s your usual Dora – something is wrong, it needs fixing and there’s two major obstacles as revealed by The Map which everyone must remember – this time she’s lost her teddy bear, so they need to get to the City of Lost Toys. There’s the familiar songs, lots of audience interaction an interval of 20 minutes (which makes the total running time of the show an hour and a half – it started at 3.30 and was over by 5pm) and a fabulous ‘We Did It’ finale which I wont spoil (though the photos *may* give it away a little bit).Dora's Friends 2012

Dora’s friends are all present, so that’s Boots, Tico, Benny, Isa and of course Backpack and Map – as well as special appearances by Swiper the Fox and her cousin Diego (from the ‘Go Diego Go!’ series, of course).

Swiper the Fox

We were handed out a little star which is used a lot in the audience participation throughout the show – so keep yours safe if you’re going – you’ll need it more than once. The Official Programme folds out into a large poster too – so make sure you’ve got an A4 sized bag to take it home in if you don’t want to spoil it.

There’s plenty of merchandise on sale, though they didn’t take cards so we didn’t get anything (possibly a good thing so soon after H’s birthday, mind – she wanted a Boots doll) – everything is reasonably priced and not too expensive.Dora 2012 Merchandise

As far as the show goes, we were impressed with it – the characters mouths don’t move, so remain fixed the whole time, and it’s miming to an existing track rather than their own voices (which I’d never seen before), which took no time at all to get used to. Afterwards we were chatting about how as adults you find characters believable and it can be any kind of show – and how the Dora characters (especially Dora and Diego) were all excellent. My friend Heather who came with us has plenty of experience of this, having toured with Bob the Builder in the past – and was also impressed. We liked the numbers section and love how the show can have educational elements and keep the kids entertained – learning being fun is a very good thing.

More from Heather; “Tico and Benny were excellent too – I thought them and Diego were the best acting wise,  (if you can believe in someone in a huge stuffed costume at all!) but they were clearly all dancers (especially Boots) so lots of energy which is really important when in costume.  I’d have loved the finale to have gone on a bit longer as everyone seemed to be really getting into it then and it felt like it stopped a bit abruptly but that might just be me.”

Ultimately, the best reviews come from the fans – so that’ll be H and her friend M. Both loved it – we were able to ask them which parts were their favourite, and both were able to mention parts of the show we’d not thought of (H was particularly random with “Boots and his red bus”), as well as the other kids present. I loved the finale, it was a good end to a fun show and one that kept them amused too – with of course more obligatory shouting at Swiper.

Dora and the City of Lost Toys Finale

Dora The Explorer – LIVE! Search for the City of Lost Toys is showing NOW at the Apollo Theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue – here’s the info:

Dates: 28 August – 16 September 2012
Performances : Monday – Sunday 10.30am/1.00pm/3.30pm*
*Please see full performance schedule on the website for dates with no 3.30pm performances
Ticket prices: £13.00, £18.00, £25.00 (premium)
Prices include a 50p restoration levy

Address: Apollo Theatre, 31 Shaftesbury Avenue, London, W1D 7ES
Box Office: 0844 412 4658

I received complimentary tickets for the show (though would have bought some anyway) – all opinions are our own and honest.

Ben and Holly Star of the Week

We’re very much a Ben and Holly household as you may be aware – why just last weekend H and her friend went to a party as Ben and Holly – if only I’d got some video of them both and I’d be entering right now.

Ben and Holly's Little Kingdom

The Official Ben and Holly Facebook page has a competition running at the moment – you need to submit a video of something Ben and Holly inspired – and whoever submits the best video will win a Ben and Holly Magic Toadstool toy. At the end of this there will be one overall winner who will get a VIP package – including tickets to the Live Show – and getting to meet the cast.

Magical Toadstool Playset open with Holly and Strawberry upstairs

Head over to the Facebook Page and get your entry in – you’ve got until the end of September!

From 30th July, Nick Jr will feature Ben & Holly on their Star Of The Week slot, airing back to back episodes.

Nickelodeon’s Dora The Explorer – LIVE! Search for the City of Lost Toys

Firstly, let me share the trailer. If you love Dora as much as H does, then this is going to be right up your street.

Dora on the stage! She’s coming to London for three weeks in late August to early September, as well as some dates in Blackpool – and we’ll be reviewing the show! (which we’re extremely excited about, by the way)

London’s show is at the Apollo Theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue, and runs from the 28th August to the 16th September 2012, whereas Blackpool is the 10th August to 26th August. There’s also a proper tour planned for 2013 – dates to be announced shortly.

Dora the Explorer fans will delight in this two act , song and dance spectacular that invites them to think, sing and play along. Nickelodeon’s Dora the Explorer LIVE! is designed to teach kids to explore, communicate, overcome obstacles, solve puzzles and discover a diverse and exciting world…all while having a lot of fun!

Everyone’s favourite explorer is embarking on a LIVE musical adventure in London’s West End! In Nickelodeon’s Dora the Explorer LIVE! Search for the City of Lost Toys, Dora has lost her teddy bear Osito, and the search is on to retrieve him!
Dora The Explorer live 2012

With the help of the audience, Map, Backpack, Boots, Diego and their courageous friends, Dora uses her map-reading, counting, musical and language skills to successfully pass through the number pyramid and the mixed-up jungle to reach the City of Lost Toys. But watch out – you never know what that sneaky fox Swiper might be up to along the way!

Nickelodeon’s Dora the Explorer LIVE! Search for the City of Lost Toys 
Apollo Theatre – West End

Dates: 28 August – 16 September 2012
Performances : Monday – Sunday 10.30am/1.00pm/3.30pm*
*Please see full performance schedule on the website for dates with no 3.30pm performances
Ticket prices: £13.00, £18.00, £25.00 (premium)
Prices include a 50p restoration levy

Address: Apollo Theatre, 31 Shaftesbury Avenue, London, W1D 7ES
Box Office: 0844 412 4658

Nickelodeon’s Dora the Explorer LIVE! Search for the City of Lost Toys 
Globe Theatre, Blackpool Pleasure Beach

Dates: 10 August – 20 August 2012
Performances: Monday – Sunday 10.30am/1.00pm
Ticket prices: £12, £14, £17 (£2 off for children) £50 family ticket

Address: Globe Theatre, Pleasure Beach Blackpool, 525 Ocean Boulevard,
Blackpool, Lancashire, FY4 1EZ
Box Office: 0871 222 9090

Help Dora Help

Help Dora Help Nick JrThe Help Dora Help campaign is back – though you don’t have long to register (only two weeks now)! Help Dora Help is a campaign to bring exploration to life in nurseries and pre-schools across the UK. It’s supported by The Prince’s Foundation for Children & the Arts.

What do you get?
All nurseries and preschool that apply will get a free activity pack featuring educational activity resources. In addition, nurseries will also have an opportunity to apply for an award of £20,000. The pack follows the Early Years Foundation Stage development goals and contains six activity session plans that provide stimulating learning themes with Dora The Explorer. The themes this year are Cooking, Sports Day, Fairy Tales, Animals, Seaside and Music.

How do you do it?
Registration is open at for nurseries to apply for a pack – and they’ve got until the 22nd July to work through the activities and get the application together for the £20,000 award.

What happens next?
Once this is done, there’s a panel which includes Helena Dowling from Nick Jr’s ‘Wake Up World’, some Nick Jr representatives, plus partners from The Prince’s Foundation, Dora Magazine and Chad Valley who will choose five finalists. Then the voting goes to the public – and the favourite is awarded the £20,000!

Each of the five finalists will get learning equipment from Chad Valley AND a visit from Dora the Explorer, as well as being filmed and featured on Nick Jr.

We were lucky to get to ask Helena some questions about Help Dora Help, as well as a few questions we’ve often wondered about her work on Nick Jr and Wake Up World – read on!

The Help Dora Help campaign is huge – by being involved, what do you think makes it work so well? Is it down to Dora being such a great character, or is it more than that?

You’re absolutely right! Help Dora Help is a brilliant campaign as the award fund could make a huge difference to the nursery it is awarded to. Not only that, all the nurseries that apply will receive an activity pack and so children all over the UK and Ireland can be a part of the fun throughout the year.

Helena Dowling Nick JrDora is a fantastic character and children love her. I think she is great as she is a very positive role model. She is very friendly and gently allows her friends to complete tasks for her and she doesn’t even get angry at Swiper, the cheeky fox who steals things from her. The show facilitates active learning by encouraging children to join in with her by counting or playing along with the games. She also encourages and teaches Spanish too which is great. I know from meeting children that took part in the campaign last year that kids absolutely love her and love the campaign. They were very enthusiastic when taking part in the creative task, using their imaginations and working together to produce something colourful and fun that could help themselves, their classmates and nursery.

I think it’s a fantastic campaign, and seeing how my daughter picked up on Dora so quickly and how it’s one of her favourite shows now, that has to be a good thing.

How much fun do you have doing what you do on Nick Jr.? Do you have trouble keeping a straight face on times when you’re sat with say, Peppa Pig in the studio, or do you take the surreality of it all in your stride?

I absolutely love it, we have a fantastic team of people at Nick Jr. that provide brilliant ideas when we are filming and I can honestly say being a childrens’ TV presenter is one of the best jobs in the world! I do get the giggles often actually but everyone seems to be fine with it!

You’ve done some episodes with The Bopps – how fun was it, as it looks like you were having a good laugh!

It was great fun! They are a couple of very funny and entertaining guys and we had a blast filming. They are not that far removed from their characters funnily enough and were often winding me with up practical jokes like hiding my shoes or telling me stories! It was great to do some slapstick style old school too, and the whole process from rehearsal to filming was a great one.

If you were to have your ideal guest on Nick Jr., who would it be?

My ideal guest would probably be Arnie from the bedtime worms, He is soo nice to chat to and I think he could help me in the garden with my flowers.

If you could sing a song from any Nick Jr. programme, what would you go for?

I love singing the Wake up World song that we created about Dora and all of her friends.

What programmes did you grow up with, and what do you think of the programmes we have these days? I feel like we’re learning so much more from them now than in the past.

I grew up with Saved by the Bell, Rugrats, Playdays and the CBBC broom cupboard. I think programming is much more advanced now and you’re right, they do facilitate active learning and imaginative play.  I know we work hard to make and air quality childrens’ programming that children love and that works with the rhythms of their day from wake up to bedtime. At Nickelodeon we are constantly researching how families go through their day, watch TV play and gave fun and put all of that into and creating a great Nick Jr. line up.

Finally, what kinds of things will you be looking out for with the Help Dora Help campaign on applications? 

We will be looking out for entries where the children and the staff have used their imagination. That will come through in the creative part of the entry, the maps. We are also on the look out for applications where the nursery has shown how best the award could be used to benefit their surroundings or educational offering. It is also great when you can see that the whole community is behind their application like with hope Nursery in Belfast last year.

Thank you Helena for answering! Also, thankyou Kate & Maxine at Nick Jr for setting this up for us.Help Dora Help Nick Jr

About Nick Jr. UK:

Nick Jr. is the number one commercial pre-school TV channel. Launched by Nickelodeon UK in 1999, it was the world’s first channel dedicated to pre-school children and broadcasts hit shows including Dora the Explorer, Peppa Pig, Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom, Max and Ruby and Humf. In 2009 it won BAFTA children’s channel of the year. With its sister channel Nick Jr. 2, it is the most popular commercial pre-school entertainment brand in cable and satellite homes.

Launched in 1993, Nickelodeon UK comprises seven dedicated award-winning entertainment channels for kids aged 2-12 and is a joint venture between MTV and BSkyB Networks. The Nickelodeon Network is a top performing commercial kids TV network in the UK and the Nickelodeon channels are available in over 14 million cable and satellite homes.

About The Prince’s Foundation for Children & the Arts:

The Prince’s Foundation for Children & the Arts is an educational charity which champions the power of the arts to transform and enrich the lives of disadvantaged children across the UK. The charity’s projects have helped to create long-term partnerships between arts organisations and their local schools. Two core programmes, Start and Quests both highlight the potential of learning outside the classroom, enabling children to visit their local cultural venue to work with professional artists, and then developing this experience through class-based projects and activities. Since 2006 the charity has worked with over 100,000 children and hopes to substantially increase this figure in the next few years. For more info please visit

Art Attack on Disney Junior and Pirate Crafts!

Art Attack LogoWe like to think of ourselves as a fairly crafty kind of house, but do need all the help we can from time to time with ideas – and this last week we’ve had two revelations – we didn’t realise we have the Disney Junior TV channel, and we didn’t realise Art Attack is back! However, we do now, so everything is calm and good again.

I remember the programme from way back in the 1990s, and it’s since been revived and happily lives on Disney Junior – and has a new presenter in Lloyd Warbey.

Art Attack have put together a video, and perfectly for us right now, it’s a pirate theme, how to make a sword and how to pretend to be a pirate, based on the show Jake and the Neverland Pirates

In this second series of Art Attack, old favourites like the Big Art Attacks (we saw one today which was a fantastic cricketer one!), where a picture is made on a huge scale, you can never quite work out what it is until you get to the end and it all makes perfect sense (and is really good too).

There’ll also be some Disney themed ‘makes’ and regular artistic segments which include – Main Make where Lloyd shows the ‘Big Make’ which has more detail such as puppets and secret treasure boxes in different shapes – Art Technique will describe a technique that kids can use to apply to pictures like making a wood effect on a sign or tree, using tape to make a curly head or turning pictures ‘spooky’ – Simple Art is similar to Main Make, but simpler – with fewer stages but some fun ideas.

Lloyd Warbey Art Attack

Read on for an interview with Lloyd –

Hi Lloyd! Let’s step back in time… How did you get involved with Art Attack in the beginning? 

There was an initial round of auditions. The producers looked at many showreels and then they came across mine which mainly focused on children’s TV as that’s my area. I then got a phone call that they wanted to see me. During the audition I had to learn a script, did some screen tests and then got involved with a ‘make’. It was really exciting to learn that I had got the role as presenter of Art Attack!

How tough were the auditions?

My background is in acting so I actually really enjoy the audition process! And this being my dream job I showed them how much fun I wanted to have with the show, and how enthusiastic I was about art. Part of the audition took place in the studio and was so much fun, it felt very natural and I really enjoyed showcasing my arty skills.

Did you have to show off your artistic skills at the auditions?

Yes, all the scripts had ‘makes’ that we had to demonstrate. I chose to stand out by making my ‘makes’ beforehand to show everyone how passionate I was about art. In the audition process I made a really fun finger puppet out of a sponge and washing up gloves!

Is it a dream come true to be an Art Attack presenter? 

It certainly is! From a young age I’ve always performed on stage, and then when I was a bit older I discovered a passion for children’s TV. So, as you can imagine, when I heard about Art Attack I was over the moon – a dream job where I can use my creative skills and passion for all things arty. How cool is that?!

What do you think of the show’s success? 

I love that the show is still on TV and that it’s so successful. It allows children to explore their ideas, be creative and get inspired. Now a new generation is watching the show and being passionate about art as I was when I first saw the show as a youngster. It’s great to see such passion for art among a new generation.

Have you always been a huge fan of Disney? 

Come on, who doesn’t love Disney?! I remember my first tape cassette was of Aladdin. My mum got it for me after I saw the film. That’s where it all started, that’s where all the magic began for me. And my love for Disney is even more so now as the presenter of Art Attack, I’m having so much fun.

Who is your favourite Disney character?

That’s a hard one as there are so many favourite Disney characters. But if I was to pick one it would have to be Abu the monkey who hangs around with Aladdin – he’s a bit cheeky, just like me!

What’s in store for fans in the second series of Art Attack?

I like to think that the show is bigger and better. There’s plenty of new localised content, and I’m hoping to be inviting audiences to interact with the show like never before. I’ll be demonstrating step by step instructions and creating different work of arts and techniques using day-to-day materials.  It doesn’t matter what age you are, you’ll be inspired by the new series!

What makes the new series stand out? 

In the new series of Art Attack, we have more Disney themed ‘makes’ making it fun and new for kids using characters that they can all relate to. One of them is a photo frame inspired by the character Jasmine. Another is a sword inspired by Jake and the Never Land Pirates. With the Disney themed ‘makes’, children will have the chance to be inspired by the characters, and pretend to be them, which will make the show even more fun.

What’s new in the show?

I’m new! I’ll hopefully be inspiring a new generation to get creative and express themselves through art. Lots of the content will be available on, where children can be creative and have a go.

There are three segments to the show. The first segment is the main ‘make’ – this will be a big ‘make’ made more detailed. The second segment – art technique – will teach you to apply a technique to a picture to make it stand out even more. And finally, the last segment is all about simple art – these will have fewer steps and will be easy to make art.

With all the different steps you’re given the opportunity to make something there and then. With the big ‘makes’ you have more steps and time to go away and gather the materials, then to have fun with your parent or guardian to create something amazing.

What do you like about art? 

I absolutely love art. It gives you the opportunity to be creative and express yourself in your own way. It also gives you the opportunity to have loads of fun and be inspired along the way!

How arty are you in real life? 

I’m very arty, I love painting and being creative. I’m always encouraging my friends to be creative in their day-to-day lives by, for example, making their own greeting cards. I’m very lucky that I get a chance to teach children at a school too so this gives me a great opportunity to engage with a new generation and inspire children to be creative.

When was the last time you created some art away from Art Attack?

You’ll always catch me doodling throughout the day! I was actually away with friends and their kids recently and I made a funky paper aeroplane and a really cool seagull picture using pens which was great because we were by the seaside.

When did you first discover you were good at art? 

I guess I always knew but it really came to me in secondary school. I used to spend my lunchtime in the art room making things out of wood and other materials. My teachers always encouraged me to express myself; be interested in things and get creative. They always encouraged my art and creativity at school which was great.

What’s your favourite colour?

That’s a hard one! I love red and green. But I’ll have to go for red as it’s such a bright, happy colour.

Who’s your favourite artist?

There are many out there but I would have to say Vincent Van Gogh. The Sunflowers and The Starry Night pictures are some of my favourite art works. I did a lot of copies of those paintings at school and they are some of my first memories of learning art. I was really inspired by Vincent’s use of oils and textures to create these amazing, inspiring pieces of art.

What’s your favourite art creation from the show? 

I really enjoyed the stretchy rap artist – a character we made in the show. It works by having stretchy material from its arms and legs that you attach to your hands and feet which means that you can have a lot of fun dancing with your character! The other creation we made that I really like is the bird puppet – it’s made out of egg box cartons using string which means you can bring the bird to life.

What’s been your most embarrassing moment on the set of Art Attack? 

Thankfully there have not been many! One that I can remember was getting through a link for the big ‘make’. You have to do it in a continuous shot and I managed to get through the demonstration in one go. I got to the very end but I couldn’t remember what to say! Everyone on set started to laugh. It was really embarrassing, but a lot of fun.

Lloyd Warbey Art Attack

Art Attack at Disney Junior
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Catch new episodes of Art Attack every weekend at 10.35am on Disney Junior.

Ben & Holly’s Little Kingdom – a New Series is Coming!!

Ben and Holly's Little KingdomWe love Ben & Holly’s Little Kingdom – it fits perfectly into our morning routine – the episodes are on Nick Jr at 7.15am which is just enough time to get H’s shoes on and her bag packed for nursery while we do all our grown up stuff in the background. Each episode is approximately ten minutes long.

Ben and Holly's Little Kingdom

Having said that, we found we were watching a lot of the same episodes – no major problem there, but we were looking forward to some new ones, and had heard a rumour something was imminent.

Well, the wait is no more – the new series starts on Nick Jr. on the 2nd July 2012 at 7.15am and repeated later that day at 5.30pm on Monday to Thursday.

Ben and Holly's Little Kingdom

We were sent a preview DVD, and while we’ve only seen two of the episodes so far, it has to be said that ‘Daisy & Poppy Go to Nursery’ is possibly the most surreal and hilarious episode yet! You can expect more of the usual – jelly floods (which goes without saying – but not from who you’d expect), magic that doesn’t quite do as it’s meant to, and all your favourite characters returning for more fun.

There’ll be 52 episodes, with the first 13 being shown from this date.

Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom returns to Nick Jr. 2nd July 2012 at 7.15am and 5.30pm, Monday to Thursday. I’ve just spotted a Ben & Holly stage show too, coming to loads of venues around the UK….