Executive producer, Helena Harris, who once
lived in Norfolk told Rachel Binns how she was inspired by her friends
It's been a whirlwind year for Helena Harris. In
October 2003, HI-5, the children's programme she created in Australia,
won its fourth consecutive ARIA - a music award equivalent to our
The show, which was created in 1999, has gone from
strength to strength and is now show in 64 countries.
Helena Harris (right) with the cast of HI-5
After HI-5 Alive's successful tour in Australia,
New Zealand and Singapore, the show embarked on a UK tour which
kicked off in Manchester.
Helena Harris came to Norwich from Australia in
the late 1980s with her husband and two-year-old daughter.
After spending 10 months in Norfolk, Helena returned
to her native country and started work in children's programmes
She then set up her own company, Kids Like Us with
business partner Posie Graeme-Evans and HI-5 was created.
Helena has revealed to BBCi's Rachel Binns how
her idea for HI-5 was partly inspired by
her stay in Norfolk.
How does HI-5 differ from other children's programmes?
One of the big differences with HI-5 is that we
encourage children to physically interact with the show.
It's very fast paced for a children's show and
it's something that we experimented with to make sure that it was
fine before we went ahead and made it.
HI-5 is very colourful
One quite distinct difference is that we're not
afraid of putting lots of music and colour into the show.
We still put in lots of new and interesting things
to children which are delivered in a way that they will understand.
The HI-5 show is very successful in Australia
and the UK and across the world. What do you think makes it so appealing
They really enjoy interacting with the presenters.
I don't think the children realise it's educational - I hope they
We don't want it to be in-your-face educational,
although every single segment has an educational aim and that is
reflected in the theme of the episode.
We cater to an incredibly wide range of kids'
ages and we consider that when we're writing
Each of our segments have simple stories, then
we add layers, like a song - we add jokes and then we add layers
of complexities so the youngest child will follow it, but the oldest
child will pick up the more complicated bits.
Charli Robinson of HI-5
What was your reaction to the HI-5 group winning
the ARIA (Australian Record Industry Association - the equivalent
of the UK's Brit Awards) for fourth consecutive time?
We were ecstatic! We really were because we didn't
think it was likely to happen - no-one's ever done it before.
It's obviously primarily a television show, but
the music and album itself stands alone.
Our composer, Chris Harriott is just amazing. He's
the most prolific writer and so in tune with children and writes
the music so well. It's easy to follow, easy to dance to and easy
to sing along to.
Read more: Why
Helena moved to Norwich from Australia