2019 has been an exciting year, with my own animated action-comedy series Kangaroo Beach in production, due on ABC Kids in 2020.
More details in this terrific Kidscreen article.
It’s been another fun-filled year of comedy and kids writing on some excellent new shows, including Aardman’s Morph, The Rubbish World of Dave Spud starring Johnny Vegas, supernatural comedy The Strange Chores, delightful preschool series Bluey and more episodes of global sensation PJ Masks. I was lucky enough to win my second AWGIE for best Educational Doco for Mini Beast Heroes and moonlighted as an actor doing voices for Thomas & Friends Series 22, 23 and 24.
It’s been the most thrilling year of my life with the birth of my gorgeous twins Madeleine and Sebastian. Alongside bringing up the bouncing bubs, I’ve been writing for a swag of brilliant shows including Dennis & Gnasher Unleashed, Thomas & Friends, and brand new series of Digby Dragon and PJ Masks. I’ve also been developing my own sitcom with co-writer Tony Cooke for CBBC and the Comedy Unit, and an animated action comedy series Kangaroo Beach with the ABC and Cheeky Little Media.
One of my biggest career inspirations was seeing an Aardman retrospective at a local cinema when I was a teenager – the very first time I saw a Wallace & Gromit short (The Wrong Trousers). I remember being captivated by the hilarious characters, jaw-dropping claymation and the climactic edge-of-your seat train chase. Since then it’s been a dream to work for Aardman – and this month that dream came true, as I begin devlopment work on an up-and-coming in-house series. I even got to meet Wallace and Gromit!
This month I started work on a couple of cool new shows, Channel 5’s Oddbods and live action comedy-science show Oh Yuck! for Netflix.
I’ve completed some development work on a series for Rovio, related to the hit 2016 movie Angry Birds. Loads of fun working amongst the furious fowls and plundering piggies!
When I teamed up with my uber-talented mate Tony Cooke recently to drum up a few series ideas, we came up with a live-action comedy series with a 1990s theme called New Girl on the Block. This week we pitched it ‘Dragon’s Den’-style to a panel of execs at the Children’s Media Conference – and won a three-month option deal from Cheryl Taylor at CBBC. We’re absolutely stoked! Here we are, risking our careers in front of a room full of our colleagues, dressed in 90s costume and Hammer pants…
The very funny action-comedy series Counterfeit Cat starts this month on Disney XD, and the animation is sublime! Check out the opening title sequence…
Two new shows I’ve written for recently debuted to amazing ratings. The new Bob the Builder reboot has been a smash on Channel 5 in the UK and PBS in the US. Go Jetters, which I co-developed, has been the number one show on CBeebies and even made it into BBC’s top 50. So proud to have been involved with these big hits!
There are some fantastic female characters in animated telly – Mablel Pines from Gravity Falls is my absolute favourite. But often they’re ignored and outnumbered by male leads. I’m proud to have created a strong female character for the new Bob the Builder – award-winning champion athlete and fitness instructor Skye Sampson, who pushes poor Bob outside his comfort zone. In this episode she teaches the winter-phobic builder to snowboard…
Bottersnikes & Gumbles is bouncing onto television in a few weeks time. The animation looks jaw-droppingly good!
The New Adventures of Figaro Pho has been nominated for an Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Award (AACTA). Congratulations to the talented team at Chocolate Liberation Front!
One of my first gigs in kids TV several years ago was co-developing an action-comedy series for CBeebies called Go Jetters. Finally it’s here – and the animation is spectacular! So proud to have been involved with such a fast and funny show.
After two big years in the making, the new rebooted Bob the Builder is finally ready for telly! I’ve written 14 episodes of this brilliant show, and have learned everything there is to know about timber, steel and concrete in the process… and yet I still can’t renovate my own house without everything falling to pieces!
I recently began work on a hilarious new show for Disney called Counterfeit Cat, starring the voice of my prank-tastic fonejacking hero Kayvan Novak. The visuals promise to be sidesplitting thanks to a unique storyboarding process which will ramp up the sight gags. Can’t wait to see some finished episodes!
An exciting new project has arrived on the breakfast table care of an Australian animation company. It’s top secret until it premieres next year, but has oodles of action, comedy, girl power, and an international pop star at the helm!
I’ve begun work on a wonderfully nutso new series called Winston Steinburger & Sir Dudley Ding-Dong, an animated 52-part series featuring “the hilarious hijinks of Winston Steinburger, his feline best friend Sir Dudley and an uptight alien, Hampton, as they explore the galaxy together in a homemade space cruiser”.
Looking forward to speaking again at this year’s London Screenwriter’s Festival, discussing the topic: “Does Writing for Kids offer the BIGGEST Opportunity in the Business?”.
This month I’ve been writing for a hilarious action-packed new show called Captain Flinn & the Pirate Dinosaurs, based on the bestselling books.
More Tooned 50 episodes have screened on Sky, and the animation is superb. Here’s episode 3, featuring world champ racing legend Emerson Fittapaldi.
It’s been a big few months here at the kitchen table. I’m finishing up co-writing Series 2 of Tooned – starring Formula 1 world champs Jenson Button, Alain Prost and Mika Hakkinen, alongside Alexander Armstrong and Hollywood legend Brian Cox.
I’ve also begun writing for the lovely new animated Disney XD show Boyster, full of hilarity and heart.
This month I’m working with the brilliant team at Framestore (Gravity, Paddington) to write Series 2 of Tooned for British Formula 1 team McLaren. The show stars the voices of driving stars such as Jenson Button, and is the follow-up to the hilarious first series. Admittedly I knew nothing about motor racing until I was hired on this show, but I’m learning fast and furiously.
Check out Ye Olde Dragon’s Den, Tuesday 21st May, 5pm, which I co-wrote with some very talented comedy writers. My sketches feature the inventors of window wipers and whoopee cushions!
I had the pleasure of interviewing one of my all-time heroes Mr Danny Boyle recently for FilmInk magazine, chatting about his new film Trance.