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THE MUSIC HALL, ABERDEEN, OCTOBER 17, 11AM AND 2PM. TEL. 01224 641122 KING'S THEATRE, EDINBURGH, OCTOBER 18 AND 19,11AM AND 2PM TEL. 0131 529 6000 Chris Jarvis has been a stalwart of children's TV since 1992, presenting shows from the BBC's famous Broom Cupboard to Fully Booked, working alongside the likes of Zoe Ball, Gail Porter and Tim Vincent. He was one of the original presenters of CBeebies, where he teamed up with Pui Fan Lee.

The duo currently star in Show Me Show Me and are on tour with The Chris & Pui Roadshow, which heads to Aberdeen and Edinburgh this week. You've been filming the latest series of Show Me Show Me in Manchester. How did you fit it in with touring? We've been working hard. It's been nice to get to the end of several months of filming the fifth series of Show Me Show Me. We film in the middle of the year and there is another block towards Christmas but most of it is done in a few months and is quite intense. The rest of the year is slightly more relaxed, doing roadshows, which is a stage show really.

It has all the characters, lots of familiar things from the television show but on stage. Things that work on television might not work on stage but there is much more you can do on stage, which is great. As Chris and Pui, you are big favourites on CBeebies for pre-schoolers. Who tends to come to the shows? It's everyone, to be honest. There are the people who watch it at the moment, which is our target audience of ages two to five, but our main audience are families. The only kids who don't go are probably teenagers but, having said that, we get an awful lot of brothers and sisters who are a lot more open than you might think.

What's it like being part of a double act? We're lucky because we genuinely like each other. We are friends. I'm godfather to one of Pui's sons. We spend a lot of time together. The other great thing is we are very different.

Pui is a trained actress. She went to drama school, she has appeared in movies and plays and quite serious stuff. I grew up and came through variety doing holiday camps and cabaret, radio and pantomime. Our paths have been very different but we get on and I think that respect is also there. You always seems full of enthusiasm. How do you keep it up? I think it is growing up with parents and grandparents who were teachers. I learned from them how energy can breed energy and how to hopefully inspire children into being creative.

On TV, we feel like we are in education rather than showbiz most of the time. When we do our stage show, that is showbusiness. We feed off each other and the audience who are amazing.

Pre-school children are genuinely hilarious. For every four jokes we have scripted, there is another one the audience willingly give us.

How does it feel to be such a stalwart of children's television? Prior to CBeebies starting in 2001/2, I had already been on children's TV for 10 years and I had grown up working in an environment where we only had an hour in the afternoon, an hour in the morning and time in the holidays to do everything. Suddenly, with 13 hours a day, seven days a week, times two because CBBC also popped up, it did feel like the early days of pirate radio where you had so much freedom and airtime.

There were loads of people from the old days of Playschool and Playaway and suddenly there were loads of other people who joined.

There emerged this wonderful creative workshop with people full of youth and enthusiasm and ideas but also people who understood the science that was put together years ago working every day on Playschool.

CBeebies is a safe haven for parents with young children, free of advertising or controversy. What kind of reaction do you get? It's very difficult to go anywhere without people reminding you of that. I imagine that could be difficult if I were in anything else because you might get grief. I just get a lot of love, people coming up to me and saying how much it has helped their children. It's great feedback and it is a great honour to be in something that is loved and successful. Do you have any famous fans? When we were in Television Centre before we moved to Manchester, next door, across the corridor, was the studio where the Radio Four Today programme came from and PM with Eddie Mair. While we were singing Happy And You Know It, they were interviewing some diplomat about Iraq. It was a wonderful juxtaposition.

Eddie Mair came in a few times to ask why we had a pony outside in the corridor.


LOTS OF LAUGHS Chris enjoys working in TV and on stage with Pui Fan Lee
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Oct 13, 2013
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