I had been preparing my daughters all morning for disappointment, you know how it is, ‘that they might not see anyone they know,’ ‘how telly people were always busy and might not have time to stop and chat.’ How wrong could I be! For young girls, this weekend was what dream’s are made of.
It was the CBBC Summer Social at Mediacity in Salford. I’ve worked for the BBC, and had my suspicions that access would be very controlled, but it was the complete opposite. In the bright sunshine, my two completely overwhelmed daughter’s mingled with the presenters, saw actual people off the actual TV and were spoiled by lots of photos and autographs. Everyone couldn’t have been kinder. (Blue Peter’s Lindsey Russell, Karim, Lauren, Hacker, the vet’s off Pet Factor need a special mention!)
It was such a great day. My highlight, other than seeing the huge smiles on the girl’s faces, was unsurprisingly book-related. The books tent wasn’t hidden away in some dark corner, ashamed to be alongside the blogging, u-tubing generation. Instead it was right there, in a prominent spot for all to see. Most ‘Awesome Author’ events had been sold out, and every hour queues formed outside as fans queued desperately to see their favourite author. It was just so heart-warming to see! And the authors were good, I’m talking Liz Pichon (Tom Gates), Pamela Butchart (Baby Aliens Got my Teacher series – very funny!!) and Robin Stevens (Murder most Unladylike series). There were more, but these were the ones that seem to feature most in my house.
We also caught the tail-end of a book-signing with the very lovely Greg James and Chris Smith, who despite the heat and the length of queue couldn’t have been more accommodating. They were promoting their first book, ‘Kid Normal,’ which I suppose I could be sniffy about, celebs turned authors etc but if it gets kids reading then why not? More the merrier and having already had a quick flick through the book I really hope there are more in the pipeline.
My oldest has come home and has barely taken her nose out of her new Tom Gates book ever since. She’s never read one before, but is now determined to finish off the entire series over the Summer. My little one is still amazed that she meet Rastamouse, and last night took her new book from the series to bed with her. To me, it seems that meeting the presenters was an unbelievable, exciting but short term experience. I reckon the discovery of new authors; authors that are fun, bright and truly interested in them, will last much longer.