I’ve been fortunate that this blog has brought me some opportunities to do some fun stuff that I wouldn’t normally get to do. Sometimes I even get to do fun stuff with the kids as well, and even the geekdaddy has managed to get in on the action a few times. For as long as I can remember the geekdaughter has been a huge fan of the CBeebies presenter Justin Fletcher, and has even asked me if I can take her to meet him someday. So when I received an invitation from the CBeebies team to view an exclusive episode of the new series of Justin’s House, with a chance to meet some of the cast, I felt like I was going to be the best Mum in the world…
The geekdaughter was absolutely beside herself with excitement. Things started well – I managed to get the two of us to MediaCity in Manchester, and found the car park. We found the Piazza where the special open-air screening was to take place. We even found another blogger with her family to sit with. We’d arrived quite early as I wanted to be sure to get somewhere to sit (the tickets said that entry was no guaranteed – it seems a lot of people fail to show for these kinds of events so the BBC are in the habit of issuing more tickets than they have capacity for). There was no way I was going to turn up late and miss out – I would never have heard the end of it! This did mean we had about an hour to wait between arriving and the show starting, and the geekdaughter did start getting a little fractious as time went by. It didn’t help that I’d forgotten to bring any drink with us, and the weather was very hot.
Finally the show started, and the geekdaughter was enthralled. There was some live action on the stage involving Robert the Robot and the geekdaughter’s favourite character from the show Little Monster. Then Justin’s face appeared on the giant TV screens and the crowd went wild. A little more live action continued, and then we were treated to a special preview of the episode “Little Monster’s Birthday” from the new series of Justin’s House, which returns to our screens on August 25th. I’m pleased to report that the new series is very much in the same style as the first series with plenty of slapstick humour throughout, and a selection of songs to dance along to. Being in an open air space, surrounded by kids all dancing along with the songs was quite a magical experience, I must confess. The only noticeable change from the last series is the lack of Dee – she’s removed from the opening credits so I don’t expect her to be in this new series at all, which will be a shame.
After the screening was complete Justin and Robert came back on stage, and encouraged the audience to sing along with a few songs. Some more slapstick comedy, including the inevitable Justin-getting-a-cake-in-the-face moment and then it was all over.
So far so good. The geekdaughter had had a lovely time, aside from getting cross with me for taking her picture (she’s going through a phase of not wanting her photo taken at the moment). It was as the audience started filing out that the trouble started. We had been invited, with a number of other bloggers, to a lunch at one of the BBC buildings, where there would be the chance to meet Justin. I was sure the geekdaughter would be excited with this, but almost as soon as we entered the building she started asking to go home, and trying to hide behind me. Justin walked through the entrance hall as we were queuing to be admitted and she wouldn’t look at him. I got her up to the meeting room, and she had a little bit of lunch whilst everyone else arrived. I don’t know if the excitement of the day got to her, or if she was just overcome with the prospect of meeting her favourite TV presenter “in the flesh”, but the minute Robert the robot and Justin walked into the room she hid under the table and flatly refused to come out!
I wish I could leave you with a picture of the geekdaughter with Justin, but I can’t. So I leave you with this one of her and I enjoying the preview screening, taken by the lovely Cheshire Claire.
I don’t think she was too trautmatised by the whole experience, because as soon as we got home she wanted to watch old episodes of Justin’s House on iPlayer, and she keeps checking that I have set our box to record the new series when it starts. I keep checking our electronic programme guide and it hasn’t appeared yet, but as soon as it does I’ll be pressing that “record all” button!
Disclosure: CBeebies gave us tickets to the special preview screening. They also gave us lunch and the chance to meet Justin afterwards, but sadly I didn’t see much of either as I was dealing with the geekdaughter hiding under the table!