Star-studded cast wows youngsters

CBeebies Live 2012 Reach to the Stars'Justin Fletcher as Mr Tumble
CBeebies Live 2012 Reach to the Stars'Justin Fletcher as Mr Tumble

Excitement filled the air as an arena full of children waited to see their favourite television characters on stage in the CBeebies Live 2012 show Reach to the Stars.

And they weren’t to be disappointed.

A song and dance extravaganza followed at Sheffield’s Hallam FM Arena featuring stars Justin Fletcher, Andy Day and Katy Ashworth were joined by Mister Maker, Balamory’s PC Plum, Postman Pat, the ZingZillas, Squiglet, stars from LazyTown and, my three-year-old daughter’s favourite, Mike the Knight.

The show was packed with sketches, songs which encouraged plenty of audience participation, fun and laughter and had a storyline running through it as LazyTown baddie Robbie Rotten tried to kidnap the characters in a bid to become the real star of the show.

It was the perfect end to our family’s Easter weekend and at two hours in length - including an interval - it was about the right length for toddlers and pre-school youngsters and grabbed their attention from the start.

There was plenty of music including typical children’s-style songs and a firework finale of Reach for the Stars - even my ten-month-old son was transfixed by the bright lights and on-stage action.

If you were expecting to see I Can Cook’s Katy dishing up a real recipe or Mister Maker creating a real piece of art you’d be disappointed - the emphasis was on big stage, big screen entertainment - but this didn’t seem to matter to our two pre-schoolers. In fact one of the highlights was when Mister Maker ‘painted’ a luminous underwater spectacular with dancing sea creatures.

The CBeebies Live show was a fun-filled star-studded spectacular - a treat for all the family - and the sight of hundreds of starry-eyed buzzing under-fives leaving the arena brightened up a very rainy Bank Holiday. Watch out for it when it returns next year.