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CBeebies Pablo: empowering young people with autism

Kay Benbow

Controller, CBeebies

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A new CBeebies series with a difference launches on Monday 2nd October, its central character and voice cast are all on the autism spectrum. Pablo is a significant show for CBeebies - reflecting our desire to be as inclusive as possible and cementing our ‘Everyone's Welcome’ campaign.

Pablo has been a true collaboration between CBeebies and RTEjr and is something only we would do - empowering young people with autism to tell their own stories and perform them. Every episode is grounded in their real-life experiences, bringing their ideas and perspectives to life in an honest and humorous way. I have such respect for the team at Paper Owl Films for creating this distinctive and authentic series which will resonate with so many families.

This week there was an official launch for Pablo in Belfast before Monday's TV premiere. Head Writer Andrew Brenner was joined on stage by fellow writers Sumita Majumdar, Tony Finnegan, Michael White, Rosie King and Paul Isaacs who talked about how they see the world in different ways and how their experiences became the inspiration for Pablo's adventures.

They shared the experiences which led to stories like 'The Super Place', where the supermarket is an overwhelming environment where objects cry out for attention. Or 'The Aroma', in which an unusual smell becomes a swirling character which makes it hard to think or speak.

Andrew explained how this process of collaboration threw up so many stories that were completely new and unexpected - and yet, stories which will be so relatable to our pre-school audiences. It was wonderful to see the creative talent which makes Pablo genuinely original, and thoroughly entertaining.

Kay Benbow is Controller, CBeebies

Pablo starts on CBeebies on Monday 2 October

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