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Programme Information

Network TV Week 45

Feature


Kerwhizz kid

  Jacob is the Kerwhizzitor in the quiz with added whiz, featuring team members Twist and Snout (pictured), Ninki and Pip and Kit and Kaboodle
Jacob is the Kerwhizzitor in the quiz with added whiz, featuring team members Twist and Snout (pictured), Ninki and Pip and Kit and Kaboodle.

Kerwhizz
Monday 3 November on BBC ONE

www.bbc.co.uk/cbeebies
Programme copy
Press release


There's a treat in store for younger viewers this week as a brand-new pre-school quiz show launches. Kerwhizz features three teams of CGI characters who compete to answer questions that allow them to add "mods" to their high-tech racing machines which, in turn, can help them to win a race against their opponents.

 

Sarah Ward catches up with 15-year-old Jacob, the Kerwhizzitor, who fires the questions and commentates on the races, as he takes a break from playing his PlayStation to chat about his debut presenting role and how rewarding he found it.

 

Jacob, from North London, was very excited at the prospect of being part of Kerwhizz.

 

"I went to the audition and met the director," says Jacob excitedly. "I read the script to him and had a Brazil t-shirt on at the time, and he said: 'You were great up until then, but you just dropped the ball at the end!' I thought I'd never get it after that! But I guess they liked me and I got the job, which is great. I'm so excited.

 

"Kerwhizz is really beautiful and the animation is the best I've ever seen on TV. It looks really amazing. The shooting was very intense, though, and it was just me and a crew in a room, as I'm the only real person in it. Because the script was so great, it kind of brought the characters to life in a way."

 

When asked to describe what Kerwhizz is all about, Jacob likens it to "Whacky Races CGI meets a quiz show for kids" and says it's very whacky and racy.

 

"It's like nothing I've seen on kids TV – not that I watch a lot of kids TV!" he laughs. "I'm the Kerwhizzitor and I ask the teams – Ninki and Pip, Twist and Snout and Kit and Kaboodle – questions. At the same time I'm asking the audience at home and there are children in the audience, too, who will be supporting their teams. The more points they get gives them points to win a "mod" for their racing pod. So, for example, in Vegetable Valley Alley, you can win garden snippers, a spade or a packet of seeds – so that's a mod for their pod, which will hopefully help them in the race. Half of it is the quiz and winning points, and the other half, which is personally my favourite part, the race – which is so much fun!"

 

In preparation for his role as the Kerwhizzitor, Jacob went to a primary school to do some research and was amazed at the children's reactions.

 

"When I showed it to the kids they just went mad," laughs Jacob. "They were going crazy and cheering the characters on! The funny thing was when I asked them the questions they were excitedly joining in and shouting out the answers. It seems like they really enjoyed it – it's great."

 

While Kerwhizz is Jacob's debut presenting role he is no stranger to the world of acting, and has a number of TV and film credits to his name, including Holby City, Jacob Marley, White Teeth, The Kumars At No. 42 and Bambino Mio.

 

"I've done a lot of acting before," says Jacob, who is studying for his GCSEs at school. "I've been at the London Palladium with Elaine Paige, in the King And I, and appeared in my first feature film, Bambino Mio, with Julie Walters – who played my mum. I was nine months old in that!"

 

Jacob is studying Drama, Economics, French, History, Maths, English and Science at school, and took time out during his summer holidays and half-term to record Kerwhizz.

 

"It's hilarious, actually," laughs Jacob. "I got really good marks in my mock exams apart from in Drama – I got a D! I'm absolutely terrible, because I had to do an evaluation. But I got an A star for my performance in the exam!"

 

What do Jacob's friends and classmates think of his new presenter status, and does he find it difficult to keep his feet on the ground?

 

"All my friends are really supportive and they laugh when they see me in my Kerwhizzitor costume," says Jacob. "And all of them are really into it and really want to see it – which is surprising, as it's for four- to six-year-olds!"

 

So, how would Jacob persuade a group of pre-school children to watch Kerwhizz?

 

"I would probably start by asking them some questions and ask them what they like and what their hobbies are," he says. "I'd find out what they liked and work on that – probably the boys would like fast cars and I'd ask the girls what their favourite colour is. I would probably just talk to them and have a listen to what they had to say. From there, I'd show them a dvd of the programme.

 

"I feel really privileged to be able to help kids with their education," he says. "It's really rewarding for me."

 

While he enjoyed dipping his toes into the world of presenting, Jacob's true passion lies in acting, which he would love to pursue.

 

"I've always, had a passion for acting," says Jacob. "I'm an avid movie buff and go to the cinema every weekend. For two hours I feel like I'm transported into another world. I absolutely love the movies and Hollywood and would love to pursue acting.

 

"Presenting is nice and there's always something fresh and new with it. But you have to stay on your toes – especially with live presenting. With Kerwhizz it's more presenting meets acting, because it's scripted and not live. But it certainly has aspects of presenting in it."

 

If Jacob had the chance to present any children's programme, past or present, what would it be?

 

"As a kid I always watched Dick And Dom in Da Bungalow – I absolutely loved them so much – they were crazy and so hilarious on a Saturday morning!" he laughs. "I'd love to do something like that where I wouldn't have any restraints and I'd be free to do what I like. Dick and Dom are my heroes!"

 

Jacob is not the only member of his family who works in television – his mum is head of make-up for BBC Sport's football programmes and works on Match Of The Day, making up the likes of Gary Lineker and co.

 

"I've been to the Match Of The Day set a couple of times with my mum – it's so exciting," Jacob says. "She's also worked on lots of big films, but before I was born!"

 

In the meantime, Jacob is hoping to score a goal in the back of the net with Kerwhizz. Let's hope the viewers get a kick out of it, too.

 



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