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Wednesday 24 Sep 2014

Programme Information

Network TV BBC Week 41
Feature

Welcome to the House of fun

Justin Fletcher and friends move into a new, madcap house

Justin's House

Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 October CBEEBIES

Justin's House features Bafta-award winning CBeebies presenter Justin Fletcher (Something Special, Gigglebiz) as he moves into a brand new madcap house.

In the first CBeebies show to be recorded in the BBC's new home at MediaCity, Salford, Justin will entertain a live theatre audience of three- to six-year-olds with a mix of singing, dancing and comedy chaos in panto-party style. He's helped by Robert, his Robot Butler; Little Monster, a lightning fast trickster; and Dee Livery, the Unicycling Delivery Lady.

With special guests dropping by, catchphrases galore, inclusive games and lots of slapstick, there are plenty of opportunities for the children to get involved. The theatre and TV audiences are invited to interact, play and sing along with all the activities that Justin undertakes.

Programme Information talks to Justin Fletcher about his new series.

Tell me about your new show, Justin's House

The show is based in my house. There is a butler called Robert the Robot who lives in the house, and another resident called Little Monster who is very cheeky.

I came up with the idea about three years ago. I do a lot of live shows and I wanted to bottle the live show experience for television. One of the unique points of the show is the children's response; it's so lovely when you get to see the audience's feedback. Justin's House is going to bring back that lovely live show feeling.

How do you enjoy performing in front of a live audience? What kind of reaction are you getting?

We have had a fantastic response and you can't help but ride on the energy and the excitement and enthusiasm. That really rubs off on you as a performer. I think you have to exaggerate your performance because it's as if you're performing live, it has to be bigger and bolder and I ride on that wave of excitement. It gives you a real energy boost!

What can the audience expect from Justin's House?

It's a party from the moment the show starts. It's very high-energy; there's an opening song, which all the children will get to know. There's lots of slapstick comedy, lots of panto-esque routines, there's a lot of 'it's behind you!' moments and a lot of mess! It's a party and it's a fun time.

Are there any similarities between the character "Justin" and the real Justin?

There are some similarities. I think my house is quite similar to Justin's House – I have some very weird props in it; I think I am quite eccentric in that respect. For example, in my house at the moment I have a 5ft pink bathtub on wheels! I also have two or three bumper cars.

Can you tell us about some of the other regular characters in the show?

There is Little Monster, who is very cheeky and likes to get up to all kinds of mischief – but she has a good heart. Robert the Robot is the butler and he is very meticulous and likes to keep the house very clean and dust free.

There's also a character called Dee Livery who is the local paper girl. She's very unusual though because she delivers all of her papers using a unicycle! Dee Livery is very bubbly and comes crashing into the house delivering the local paper, which is called The Justin Times and has nothing but stories about what chaos Justin has caused in Justin Town.

Can you tell us about some of the guest stars that you have popping in?

We've got a lovely line-up of guests. The first episode has Steven Arnold (Ashley in Coronation Street) who plays my neighbour. Anne Charleston (Madge from Neighbours) recorded an episode with us a couple of weeks ago and we also have some of the CBeebies team coming in including I Can Cook's Katy Ashworth; CBeebies presenters Andy and Sid; and Nisha from Same Smile.

You're recording the show at the new BBC studios at Media City in Salford – how are you enjoying that?

I love it! All the studios are so new and we are the first CBeebies show to record there which is nice. I also did a live show in the Piazza there which went really well and that was the first show to take place in the Piazza too. I have been so busy though so I haven't had too much time to explore but am hoping to get to The Lowry and to some of the galleries and museums.

How does Justin's House compare to your other shows?

It's very different. I like to come up with shows that are very different and fresh. Something Special is very dear to my heart and helps so many children with learning difficulties so it's hard to beat that and the feedback we get for that show is remarkable. Something Special is going from strength to strength and celebrates its 100th episode this month and I am thrilled to bits it is doing so well. Gigglebiz is a preschool sketch show where I play all 26 characters. And then in Justin's House, I'm playing myself in a live show for television so they are all such very different shows.

Are there any funny stories that have happened during filming?

There was one very funny moment! There's an episode called Housewarming and the storyline involves me buying some nibbles for the party. I make a comment that I have forgotten to buy the pineapple chunks but the children in the audience started shouting out that there was a pineapple in the fruit bowl on the set. No one had noticed so we had to stop filming and remove the pineapple!

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