A CHILDREN’S TV show filmed amid the waterways and countryside around Rugby is up for a major industry award.
Crick narrowboat-dwellers Mike and Janet Roberts are the brains behind ‘Chico Chugg’ – a live-action programme for pre-school children which follows the canal adventures of the titular Jack Russell, played by their pet dog.
Their tiny Rugby-based TV production company Chugg Productions – which they founded with producer Anita Ramdharry – has been nominated in the new ‘Best Children’s Programme’ category of the Royal Television Society in the Midlands awards.
Janet wrote a series of books about Chico’s exploits on which the series is based, while Mike – who was a pop star in the 80s with Coventry band King, and was also a member of Dexys Midnight Runners – penned and performed all the music for the series, and voices the star canine.
Chugg Productions picked up the nomination for the show’s second series – with former BBC television reporter Anita having won the Royal Television Society award for Best New Talent for her work on series one.
Chugg Productions also won the Small Business of the Year in the Pride of Rugby Awards 2017.
Anita said: “Someone at the BBC recently asked me how a team of just three people managed to film and produce 49 episodes of Chico Chugg. The answer is long hours and hard work!
“There’s only three people in our company and we will be up against some major broadcasting and production organisations.
“Along with Mike and Janet, we do everything ourselves to make Chico Chugg. We film, produce, edit and write all the scripts and music.
“We are thrilled to be nominated for this brand new category as the midlands has some of the top independent children’s production companies in the world, and it’s great that we are celebrating that fact.
“We might be a small team but we have achieved so much in a very short amount of time. We are looking forward to the awards ceremony in November.”
Over the last two years, creator Janet has been traveling around Rugby schools giving talks in assemblies and inspiring local children to get creative.
Janet said: “Local children get really excited when they see the countryside around their town appearing on TV. It helps them realise that with a little imagination and determination, they can achieve their dreams too.”
The show is on Sky Kids and Now TV, and a Welsh language version – called Nico Nogg – is broadcast on Welsh TV channel S4C and on the BBC iPlayer.
Visit www.chicochugg.com for more information.