CBBC

When I met Ellen DeGeneres and she told me off

When I met Ellen DeGeneres and she told me off

This was one of my favourite days ever: getting to meet the absolute star that is Ellen DeGeneres, and produce an interview between her and Lindsey Russell for Finding Dory.

As it’s Blue Peter, we don’t tend to go for straight, sit-down interviews, so I thought it would be fun to play a game based around Dory’s problems with short term memory loss.

Unfortunately Ellen didn’t quite understand the format, and it fell apart spectacularly. I felt gutted at the time, as these ‘press junket’ interviews are very quick and very high-pressured, so you can’t afford to mess up. But when I watched the rushes back I realised that if I packaged them in the right way (and could persuade my bosses to get on board) this could be a really popular clip.

As it turned out, it became my most successful ever clip on the bbc.co.uk platform, and did pretty well on YouTube too.

"Is this all you have...?!"

A special send-off for a special dog

A special send-off for a special dog

This isn’t the first time I’ve written a song for Hacker the Dog to sing to Blue Peter’s Iggy, but sadly it will probably be the last. Iggy officially left the show in May 2016 to start her new job as a Guide Dog. I wrote this song (to a tune you will definitely recognise!) to give her a proper send-off, celebrating everything she’s achieved and the massive change she will make in her new owner’s life.

This was great fun to produce, especially being able to write string parts for the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra and enlisting the help of my acoustic function band Strings Attached.

Click here to watch the video (complete with lyrics in case you want to sing along!)

"So proud you're starting this new job, we love you no matter what so worry not, you'll always be a Blue Peter dog!"

The Letters Song

The Letters Song

It was an absolute joy to write and produce this little number for Blue Peter, all about the enormous amounts of weird and wonderful post sent in by the show’s fans. As well as appealing to kids, it’s got in-built nostalgia – this song is for “anyone who’s ever written to Blue Peter”.

Director of The Good Dinosaur creates new dino based on kids’ ideas

Director of The Good Dinosaur creates new dino based on kids’ ideas

Another very fun little video for Blue Peter. When you’re offered 10 minutes to film with someone, it’s often difficult to think of something fun and interesting to do in the time available. I think we nailed it here!

Although Peter Sohn, director of The Good Dinosaur, is relatively unknown to our young audience, his work with Disney Pixar (which also includes WALL-E, Toy Story 3 and Up) is very familiar. But he has a brilliantly childlike creative mind, which we leveraged to our advantage by asking kids to suggest features that he would build into a brand new dinosaur.

The popularity of The Good Dinosaur made this clip extra special. As well as being an exciting realisation of the inner workings of kids’ brains, it’s also a proper masterclass on how to draw a dinosaur in a Disney style.

I wrote a song for a puppet dog to sing to a real dog

I wrote a song for a puppet dog to sing to a real dog

Let me explain. Hacker the Dog is one of CBBC’s most famous faces. Iggy is the Blue Peter guide dog. In celebration of Iggy’s first anniversary working on Blue Peter, it was decided that Hacker would serenade her to the tune of Mandy by Barry Manilow. And naturally, as the token music graduate on the Blue Peter team, I was asked to make it happen.

Fortunately I love writing parody lyrics, the copyright holders were happy to give permission, and Mandy is an all-time favourite of Hacker’s puppeteer, Phil Fletcher. The amazing CBBC Presentation team (who make all the continuity links with Hacker and his pals) were able to fit in a slot for Hacker to perform it, as well as for him to come into the Blue Peter studio so we could get some shots of him cuddling Iggy. The result is a funny and surprisingly touching piece of content, which sits just as well online as it did in Iggy’s special anniversary edition of the show.