How did you get involved in Boj?
In 2008 my friends Claire Underwood and David Hodgson moved to Lewes, Sussex, where I happen to live too. They invited me to look at a book idea that Claire had created about a little bilby called Boj. Deciding it was a great opportunity for us all to work together, we decided to team up and bring Boj to the small screen and beyond…
What do you actually do?
I’m a screenwriter and content creator. I work mainly in pre-school television because I love it. On Boj, I became head writer once the series started to get into full swing. I looked after a small team of talented writers to write the episodes for the show. 51 episodes and counting… That’s nearly 10 hours of animation… Which is a lot of tea drinking!
What’s the best bit about working on Boj?
Though I love writing, it can be a solitary existence, so I enjoy coming in to the studio to discuss stories and other aspects of the production. I also got the chance to play the ukulele on the show, which was a blast!
How did you get into writing for pre-schoolers?
I first started out as a musician…
…but when I realized I wasn’t going to be the next big thing, I gravitated towards animation through a friend who I went to art college with.
To cut a very long story really short, I began my writing career when I was working as a production manager on a show called Kipper. We were having difficulty finding writers for the show, so I wrote a script in desperation to get the series moving. I had no idea how to write one, so applied the same skills to script writing as I did to songwriting… I ended up writing 27 scripts for the series!
Since then I’ve been lucky enough to have written on some fantastic shows including Pingu, Charlie and Lola, Octonauts, Timmy Time, Pocoyo, Q Pootle 5, The Koala Brothers, Raa Raa the Noisy Lion, Little Princess, Bob the Builder and Baby Jake.
Do you only write for Pre-Schoolers?
No, I have written for all ages, including Shaun the Sheep, Tracy Beaker, The Secret Show and a feature film called Itch of the Golden Nit. I really don’t see myself as a childrens writer though – more a family writer… I’d like to think that the whole family could squash up on the sofa and watch Boj!
What are you working on at the moment?
Right now I am head writer on the new series of Clangers for CBeebies.
Did you know that the new Clangers are knitted in the same traditional way as the old ones were, way back in 1968?!
How would you like Boj to be remembered?
The great thing about children’s television, especially pre-school, is that it creates nostalgia. I have such a fondness for Clangers, Thunderbirds and Bagpuss from my own childhood.
I’m hoping this generation of pre-schoolers will remember Boj in the same nostalgic way. To be a little part of the theme of someone’s childhood would make the show very special.