'Magnetic' presenter attracts Emmy judges

Rosie King Rosie King's 'open and honest' style takes viewers into her world

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A bold commissioner, some light touch production and a 'compelling' 13 year-old presenter have helped secure a prestigious International Emmy Kids Award for CBBC.

Newsround: My Autism and Me picked up the factual prize at the ceremony in New York on Friday - the latest in a long line of plaudits for the programme.

'It's our fifth award out of eight nominations,' reflects Daniel Clarke, who was executive producer on the film alongside Owenna Griffiths. 'It is almost becoming embarrassing, but it's excellent because it means the film will hopefully now reach a broader audience.'

The film is presented by 13-year-old Rosie King, who has autism.

The Newsround team spotted in a local paper that she was writing a book with her mother and invited her to speak to the programme about what it was like to live with autism.

The 90-minute VT was then developed into a film - a brave move by former CBBC controller Damian Kavanagh, considers Clarke, who is acting editor of Newsround.

Start Quote

It felt risky to make a programme for kids presented by an autistic child”

End Quote Daniel Clarke Exec producer, My Autism and Me

'It felt risky to make a programme for kids presented by an autistic child - mainly because of the obvious thing that it's not always straightforward for people with autism to talk about their feelings, especially if they're young,' he explains.

He credits the 'tireless' work of production director Victoria Bell for 'getting the best' from Rosie and the other child contributors, whose personalities, he says, lend the film a warmth that few can resist.

Winning characters

'We talk a lot of rubbish about character in tv but in this film there are incredible kids simply talking about themselves and an interesting subject in a relatively unmediated way. Nearly everyone who watches it warms to it immediately.

'Rosie King is the most fantastically magnetic and compelling presenter,' he adds, 'and she is open and honest and direct about what it's like to be autistic; she genuinely takes us into her world.'

At the outset, says Clarke, the team had no grand ambitions for their film - 'we just thought that Rosie was an interesting girl and we wanted to try and make a decent programme'.

And while winning an Emmy is 'terrifically exciting', it is the favourable feedback from people who work or live with autism that matters most.

'We've had the most incredible reaction from them ever since it was first broadcast - that's been a key part of the film's success.'

Newsround wasn't the only BBC winner at the 1st International Kids Emmys; Lost Christmas, broadcast on BBC One in 2011, won the best tv movie or mini series award.

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