Benedict Cumberbatch has topped a list of celebrities that parents would most like to see on a kid's TV show – beating national treasure, Sir David Attenborough.
A poll of 1,000 mums and dads revealed what they believe to be the most important characteristics of a children's TV character – with two in five (41%) saying they should be played by a good role model.
Other famous faces that fit the bill include Hollywood stars Daniel Craig and Christian Bale, and Doctor Who star, David Tennant.
It also emerged that when considering which TV shows they allow their children to watch, 40% said characters were the most important part – closely followed by the storyline (37%) and music (36%).
The research was commissioned by Channel 5 to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Milkshake! TV.
When asked which celebrity she would like to join the show, head of children’s programming, Louise Bucknole, said: “There are so many amazing voices to choose from – however, I think Olivia Colman would be brilliant as she could bring the comedy and a brilliant performance to any character.”
The study also found parents feel there are a number of improvements to be made to children’s TV, with 42% wanting to see more tips and tricks for life.
This was closely followed by 39% of parents feeling that children’s TV should include more progressive ideas, while one in three (31%) hope shows would start to include more DIY home activities for kids.
Speaking about the inclusion of progressive ideas on Milkshake! TV, Louise Bucknole said: “Each year we think, “we've got to cover that subject”, because it’s something that is important for kids.
“For example, the environment and sustainability is a real focus to kids right now, even for pre-schoolers – as we saw when we produced Go Green With The Grimwades.
“They understand about recycling and looking after the planet, probably more than we do because they see this is impactful to their future.”
While Benedict Cumberbatch topped the list of celebrities parents would like to take up a role on children’s TV, Milkshake! has released a list of the unlikely celebrities you didn’t know have played a role in children’s TV.
CELEBRITIES YOU DIDN'T REALISE HAVE STARRED ON CHILDREN'S TV:
1. David Mitchell as Police Officer Panda, Peppa Pig
First airing in 2004, Peppa Pig has cemented itself as one of the greatest preschool TV series of all time – even being touted as the “greatest ever British export” by Pulp Fiction director, Quentin Tarantino. The series follows the day-to-day animated adventures of Peppa and her adorable entourage – but did you know it has had so many celebrity cameos? David Mitchell (Peep Show & Upstart Crow) voices Police Officer Panda, who “doesn’t actually arrest anyone”, while fellow comedian Jo Brand voices zookeeper Mrs Crocodile.
2. Jason Manford and Gary Barlow as Daisy's Daddy, Daisy & Ollie
Daisy & Ollie first came to Milkshake! TV on November 6th, 2017, and is a pre-school series that follows the adventures of Daisy and Ollie and their extraordinary toys, Boo the Monkey and Whizzy the Robot. The series was created by Jason Manford, to encourage young children to be curious and question the world around them. But did you know that Jason Manford also voiced Daisy’s Daddy in the series?
3. Ben Whishaw as Paddington Bear, The Adventures of Paddington Bear
The Adventures of Paddington Bear is the latest iteration of the marmalade-loving mavericks' adventures. Paddington is one of the most recognisable characters in children’s TV history since his first appearance on the nation's screens in 1976 – but would you be shocked to find that his voice is none other than Ben Whishaw (Q in James Bond, & Mary Poppins Returns)?
4. Pierce Brosnan as Narrator, Thomas & Friends
Thomas & Friends first appeared on television screens in 1984. It follows the adventures of Thomas, an anthropomorphised blue steam locomotive on the fictional North Western Railway on the Island of Sodor. Throughout his time on the track, Thomas & Friends has been narrated by a star-studded cast, but none are more famous than Hollywood superstar Pierce Brosnan (James Bond & Mamma Mia). Brosnan narrated the childhood classic during the Great Discovery episode.
5. Prince Harry as Narrator, Thomas & Friends Birthday Special
To celebrate the program's monumental 75th anniversary in 2020, Thomas & Friends saw it’s most famous narrator of all in the episode “Thomas & Friends: The Royal Engine” – which featured none other than Prince Harry taking on the mantle to guide the trains through their day.
6. Alexander Armstrong as Fairy Mayor, Ben & Holly
The series follows the adventures of two best friends in a small kingdom of elves and fairies. However, it is not the name you should be listening out for. It is Fairy Mayor which is based on London's former PM Boris Johnson, voiced by Alexander Armstrong – host of the game show Pointless, and the Classic FM morning show.
7. Dame Judi Dench as Miss Lilly, Angelina Ballerina
Angelina is a pretty little mouse who wants nothing more than to be a ballerina. First hitting the nation's screens in 2001, Angelina Ballerina became a staple of Milkshake! morning TV – but did you know that it was Angelina’s Dacovian dance teacher, Miss Lilly, who you should have been listening out for, as she was voiced by Academy award winning actress Dame Judi Dench (James Bond & Shakespeare In Love)?
8. Blake Harrison as Lofty, Bob The Builder (2015-2018)
Bob the Builder came back to the nation's screens in 2015 on Milkshake! TV, as a CGI animated reboot of the 1999 children’s TV classic. The series followed Bob’s adventures with his trusted crew as they set about fixing the problems of Bobsville. However, it is Bob’s Yellow Backhoe Digger, Scoop Lofty, that you should be listening to, voiced by Inbetweeners star Blake Harrison. This is a far cry from his previous role.
TOP 10 CELEBRITIES PARENTS WOULD LIKE TO SEE TAKE A ROLE IN CHILDREN'S TV:
- Benedict Cumberbatch
- David Attenborough
- Daniel Craig
- Christian Bale
- David Mitchell
- David Tennant
- Emilia Clarke
- Emily Blunt
- Emma Thompson
- Tom Hardy
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