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Live webchat with Something Special presenter Justin Fletcher, Mon 12 April, 10.30-11.30am

(324 Posts)
GeraldineMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 07-Apr-10 10:59:00

It's taken a while since you first asked (last July, to be precise!) but we're inordinately pleased to announce that Something Special presenter Justin Fletcher is coming to the Towers for a webchat on Monday 12 April, 10.30-11.30am.

Justin (AKA Mr Tumble) is a BAFTA award-winning presenter and actor, and won the MBE for services to children's broadcasting and the voluntary sector in 2008.

Hope you can join us but if you can't, please post your question for Justin here.

SuSylvester Wed 07-Apr-10 11:01:03


Clarissimo Wed 07-Apr-10 11:14:56

Hello Justin

Firstly as the Mum of two children with autism that have enjoyed Mr Tumble in their time can I say thank you, and also on behalf of ds4 who is two (today) and adores it- it's both child good TV and normalises having siblings with extra needs.

DS2 has a Q for you: if you have one tip for someone who wants to be a children's entertainer on TV, what would it be? (I think he's currently juggling around children's entertainer, next Dr Who, author and RSPCA worker- or apparently all 4!)


Picante Wed 07-Apr-10 11:18:23

OH MY GOD. Sooooo excited. I don't think I'll be able to make it sadly.

Can I just say that you have such a special gift. My son adores you!

Do you have any plans to do a Gigglebiz tour? It would be amazing. I live in Reading and will be at the panto at Christmas!

LoveBeingAMummy Wed 07-Apr-10 11:45:56

#Hello, Hello, How are you?#

Hi Justin. My DD loves your programme and has been able to pick up signs from 1 year old. Its really helped us and although she does not have any SEN its certainly been useful. She is not a big talker although now manages to tell me that owls live in trees thanks to you!

My question is why isn't the hello and goodbye song signed anymore? DD adored this and it has certainly confused her grin

Love the new programme, although I'm not sure about Mr Tumbles voice (did he always sound like that? confused, it certainly has given more scope for every day signs.

#Goodbye, goodbye, it's time to run#

bran Wed 07-Apr-10 11:54:59

Hi Justin, my DC both love Something Special. smile When my DS was little I used to record them and when I needed 30 mins of peace I could play them to him. He was never really into TV but he was transfixed by SS, as is my DD.

Not a question, but a bit of rude constructive criticism, please drop Nana Knickerbocker from Gigglebiz, it's just not as funny as the rest of the sketches. 5 yo DS's favourite sketch is Packlunch Pete and DD (2 yo) loves Rapids Johnson and screams "There bear!" the whole way through. grin I love Dina Lady (in part because I slightly fancy Tommy Tummy blush).

My question is a bit personal, I saw you being interviewed on The One Show and you weren't at all as I thought you would be. Were you putting on an adult persona for adult tv or are you naturally softly spoken with minimal gesticulation? If so, what drew you to the clown/children's tv industry?

StealthPolarBear Wed 07-Apr-10 11:55:39

wow this will be popular!

ruddynorah Wed 07-Apr-10 11:57:09

WOOOOOOOOOOOOHHHHHHHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! fantastic! must think of a good question...

Valpollicella Wed 07-Apr-10 11:59:43

Well done MNHQ!!

Justin, have you learnt Makaton as you've filmed the shows, or have you undertaken any 'formal' courses?

Ps love Gigglebiz. It's like The Fast Show but for children grin

Booboobedoo Wed 07-Apr-10 12:12:22

Hi Justin - another house full of fans here. My son isn't SN, but had hearing problems early on and Something Special was a fantastic aid to all of us.

Also, I think Gigglebiz is hilarious.

My question is (just out of nosiness curiosity): did you have a specific interest in SN programming from the beginning, or was it a happy accident?

You clearly have an affinity and sympathy with the children, which makes me wonder if you have had any personal experience with SN kids.

saintlydamemrsturnip Wed 07-Apr-10 12:25:12

Ooh will be there.

Justin - just wanted to let you know. Last year we attended Camp Bestival with my 3 sons aged (then) 10, 7 and 4. My 10 year old is severely autistic and has severe learning disabilities and was incredibly hard work during the whole weekend, he has no concept of waiting or staying still and walks/runs the whole time. He paid no attention at all to the bands/stages and we had to take it in turns to walk him round the site on a fixed route (deviation not tolerated).

Until..... you came on stage. He was at the tent with my husband, heard your act start, grabbed dh and ran to the stage. He then tried to get onto the stage with you grin and almost passed out with excitement. He was grinning from ear to ear and actually watched your entire show (unheard of).

Anyway, it was the highlight of the weekend (which was otherwise exhausting and hard work to be frank), and made the trip worthwhile. One for the memory banks.

bigcar Wed 07-Apr-10 12:26:04

Hello Justin

Something special is the only tv my SN 4 year old dd3 watches, we are all massive fans! It's wonderful to see children with SN on tv as Clarissimo said, especially with someone that seems so at ease and natural.

Dd3 is very routine driven and finds it very hard that the hello and goodbye song isn't done on every episode and as a result the poor child has to listen to me murdering singing it. Will the songs be coming back, or is there anyway they could be put on the dvds as an additional feature? This is currently a huge issue in our house grin


cocolepew Wed 07-Apr-10 12:35:01

Bugger I'm back at work then.

Hi Justin I work in a Special School where we all use Makaton, I just want to thank you for Something Special.

That's all really grin.

Iklboo Wed 07-Apr-10 13:04:57

What's Shaun the Sheep like to work with? grin
Seriously, although DS (who is 4) insists he is too big to watch baby shows on CBeebies he loves to watch Gigglebiz and has a Gigglebiz dance (mainly consisting of wiggling his bum but there you go)

ILikeToMoveItMoveIt Wed 07-Apr-10 13:18:02

OMFG, Sir Justin of Fletcher is going to be here.

DS is only 19mo but he adores Something Special and Gigglebiz. Infact dh and ds both enjoy Gigglebiz.

I don't think I have a question, I just want to have a bit of a fawn and say that you truly have a special gift with children. You can do no wrong in our house smile

paisleyleaf Wed 07-Apr-10 13:35:34

Oh this is great grin I love what Justin does.
DD's got the voiceover for DIY Dan down to a tee whenever DH does something DIY "fixing the guttering is easy, you just.....................job done"
He deserved that BAFTA for Something Special.
I'll speak to DD about questions.

AppleTreeWick Wed 07-Apr-10 13:35:39

Yeay Great News!

My two children are dedicated fans of Something Special and Gigglebiz so much so that there is sometimes a significant puddle under DD2 during the programme.

DH and I have cynically exploited their devotion to you by convincing them that you are actually Ray Mears brother. This means that we can actually watch some grown up telly whilst they are around. The girls are ever hopeful that one day you might pop out of the jungle for a cup of tea with Ray.

So my question is:
Have you ever considered creating a programme in collaboration with Ray Mears? We would definitely buy the box set grin

EllieG Wed 07-Apr-10 13:58:05

OMG we love him! I actually have a slight crush on him, but that's not what I want raised -

I was just wondering what his background is re children and SN children in particular? He comes across as being so natural and comfortable I was wondering if he had either personal or work experience in this field?

DD is only two so has no questions, but loves Justin almost more than she loves me. I can't really blame her tbh, he spends an awful lot more time teaching her things than I do blush. She's a bit too young for gigglebiz, but LOVES Something Special and has learnt lots of signs which have actually helped her language come on nicely.

Oh, and we have now seen all of them I think, so when is there another new series coming out?

newlark Wed 07-Apr-10 14:01:00

would have loved to log on with dd (3) who adores Something Special and Gigglebiz but we are going to be out will see if she has any questions...

Sidge Wed 07-Apr-10 14:11:30

We love Something Special here Chez Sidge and as DD2 has complex SN including severe expressive speech delay SS has been an education for us. My Makaton vocabulary has increased enormously thanks to Mr Tumble.

I love the fact that SS has normalised children with SN and disabilities and seeing them on mainstream TV is great for ALL children IMO.

Just for feedback though - I really don't like the way Cool Tumble talks. But Cliff Tumble is just inspired and my favourite character grin

Justin you are very talented and show a real empathy for the children you work with; if you are down South feel free to pop round for a cup of tea!

EVye Wed 07-Apr-10 14:13:21

Oh no. I wont be around when the webchat is on.

Justin - you are currently having to compete with Chris & Pui for my daughter's affections (50/50 split at the mo). What is your favourite cbeebies programme (not your own) and why?

ilovesprouts Wed 07-Apr-10 14:28:26

hi justin ,i have a son whith gdd [kenzie] he loves your show so much,he trys to copy the children doing there signs ,you are truely fantastic i would love to see a talking mr tumble doll ,he loves all your shows you are on and he has the biggest smile on his face when you come on tv

BuzzingNoise Wed 07-Apr-10 14:32:12

Justin, my son, who is 3, really enjoys Something Special. He's never noticed that the children on the programme are SN, but has started to copy some of the noises made by them and gives the odd laugh. Obviously, I want him to grow up respectful of everyone, so I was just wondering at what age do you think a child who is not SN becomes aware of a child that is, and how is it best explained?

sunchild77 Wed 07-Apr-10 15:11:20

Justin ~ Both my DCs love you and your shows, grin But Im just wondering how on earth you manage to have a personal life?

FioFio Wed 07-Apr-10 15:35:25

Message withdrawn

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