A first-time dad-to-be from South Norwood was so dismayed hearing friends complain about the children’s programmes they were forced to endure in the name of parenthood, he went off and wrote and made his own animated television series.
Dom Williams, and his wife Jenny, were expecting their first child when he came up with the idea for Sunny Bank Allotments, an animated series for pre-schoolers.
“When you are expecting a first child you know people are going to warn you about the sleepless nights and the lack of time and how much life changes,” Williams told Inside Croydon.
“But I noticed for a lot of parents one of the things that really drove them bonkers was their children’s television programmes – often with storylines that didn’t seem to promote strong family values or reflect the interests of the children I knew.
“Most children I know love nature, animals, the outdoors and are excited by the idea of grow your own. I was disappointed not to see any shows reflecting all these themes.”
The programme takes its name from the road where the Williams family lives – although there are at least two more Sunny Bank Allotments around the country.
Williams began writing a storyline based around a little boy and girl who carried the names – Pippa and Barney – that he and his wife had chosen for their baby before they knew what gender it would be.
He worked with an illustrator to design the characters and settings, before going on to animate them and bring them to life with the help of actors who he auditioned and cast through his other business Williams Bulldog Management, a talent agency.
The TV show was then made through his established production company, Smart Dog Productions.
“I hadn’t written anything like this before, but I was a very passionate parent-to-be and I wanted to produce something my child could enjoy in their early years and grow up to be proud of in later life.
“I also wanted something which was not too over the top and with voice and music which kids would enjoy, but which would not prove too grating on their parents. I like to think we have achieved all that.”
The 12-part series of 11-minute episodes each has an accompanying book.
Details available at: www.Sunnybank.TV where the episodes can also be watched.
They are also available to watch via the kids YouTube channel Wizz.
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