6th March 2018. Channel 5’s Milkshake! is aiming to whip up audiences during the Easter break and beyond with the launch of two new shows and short-form digital content embracing the healthier family lifestyle trend. Shane the Chef, voiced by Being Human star Russell Tovey, which follows the food adventures of chef and single dad Shane, and his young daughter Izzy (played by newcomer Harriet Lamb), will be broadcast alongside Milkshake! Monkey Bananas About Food, a fun new series exploring where food comes from on weekday mornings at 7.20am starting Monday 2nd April 2018.
Supported by the British Dietetic Association Shane the Chef, is a 52 x 11’ pre-school animation series produced by Hoho Entertainment. Created by Andrew Wildman and Simon Jowett, Shane the Chef aims to enthuse young children and carers with a love of fresh, healthy food and cooking. It is the first ever animated UK commission to focus on healthy eating for kids. A recent study from the British Nutrition Foundation found that almost a quarter (23 percent) of 5 – 7 year olds think that bananas, roast chicken, broccoli and wholegrain bread belong in the dairy and alternatives food group. One fifth (18 percent) of 5 – 7 year olds also think that fish fingers are made of chicken, highlighting the need to educate kids about food at an early age. (Source: The Eatwell Guide 2017, the government tool used to define government recommendations on eating healthily and achieving a balanced diet).
Dr Frankie Phillips from The British Dietetic Association said, “With nearly one in ten children already obese by age 5, steps to encourage a healthier relationship with food in the pre-school years are urgently needed. Helping children learn about food and simple cooking could be one key step in encouraging awareness about ingredients and confidence in preparing a wide range of healthy foods. “
Commenting on Shane the Chef Tovey said, “Shane the Chef is a celebration of food, where it comes from and what you can do with it in the kitchen. Getting children to understand healthy eating at an early age is so important. There is definitely a gap in the market for a preschool animation series that addresses this.”
The star-studded voice cast also includes: Cold Feet star John Thomson as JG, Shane’s best friend, an inventor of weird and wonderful gadgets; Britain’s Got Talent comedienne-impressionist Jess Robinson as Maggie, an organic farmer and market stall holder for whom Shane holds a secret crush; Mama Polenta, the flamboyant Italian who runs the local deli and Marc Silk (Danger Mouse) as Sam Spratt, seafaring skipper of The Happy Mackerel who supplies Shane with fresh fish and seafood delights.
In Milkshake! Monkey Bananas About Food the much loved Milkshake! Monkey and presenter Kemi Majeks explore where the nation’s food comes from. In the 10 x 5’ series, a journey from field and farm to classroom and family tea time will show how yummy food can be used to create some fun and tasty creations!
Preschoolers and families will be able to further immerse themselves in the world of Shane the Chef and Milkshake Monkey through a range of activities on digital platforms including tips on how to prepare food and cook recipes from the shows in an age appropriate way. Internet animation sensation Weebl has been commissioned to create 45 second music videos on healthy food items tied to Bananas About Food such as eggs which will run on the Milkshake! website and YouTube channels.
Alison Bakunowich, Senior Vice President and General Manager for Nickelodeon UK and Milkshake! says: “Shane the Chef is a delicious mix of colourful characters. Each episode will get kids excited about food and encourage them to eat balanced diets. Coupled with new Milkshake! Monkey content we are aiming to passionately show, like Shane, that ‘Fresh really is best” in an entertaining way.
Oliver Ellis, Joint Managing Director of Hoho Entertainment said: “We are delighted to have such a distinguished voice cast on board to bring our characters to life. Russell’s cheeky, cheerful performance is perfect for Shane. We love the fact that he is such a passionate advocate and really got behind the show’s healthy eating aims.”