Mister Maker on what makes great TV for children

As RadioTimes.com's Kids’ TV Champ competition hots up we talk to CBeebies arts and crafts personality Mister Maker – AKA Phil Gallagher – about what show he wants to win

Phil Gallagher, the man behind CBeebies’ Mister Maker, wanted to work in children’s TV for as long as he could remember.

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“You ask my Mum, when I was very little I was always doing puppet shows from behind the sofa and I even invented my own TV schedule with all the things I did,” he told RadioTimes.com.

So when it comes to finding out what makes the best kids’ TV he is probably the person to ask.

He was first inspired by his heroes Phillip Schofield and Andi Peters, the Children’s BBC anchors who operated from the “Broom Cupboard” in the late 1980s. And from then on there was nothing else he wanted to do except entertain children.

“I recently went on This Morning and I was lucky to meet Phillip Schofield,” he explains.  “It was meeting your hero. It was amazing, he was really lovely.

“We had a lovely chat and I talked about what really impressed me with him – which was the way he connected with the audience. That’s the most important thing for a presenter.”

But what of the programmes these legends were introducing? What show would Mister Maker like to see win our Kids’ TV Champ poll?

“I remember Jackanory, which I loved and when I was very little I really liked Fingermouse. I can still remember having my lunch when I cam back from nursery and watching that. I loved it. I also loved Bagpuss. And I loved Blue Peter. It really inspired me. There is the artistic element – and I have always enjoyed making things – but it was iconic.”

But – and we have to press him here – if he had to choose one programme to win the Kids’ TV Champ poll, which one would he plump for?

“That’s tricky because I have such fond memories of watching all sorts of children’s television but because it’s such an iconic show I would have to say Blue Peter,” he says.

“One of the good things about my job is I get to travel the world as Mister Maker and I see the very high esteem the BBC is held and I think Blue Peter is one of the big reasons for that. It is a fantastic show – it still is. It encourages so many important things – a sense of fun and adventure and learning about the world. I also remember doing the Bring and Buy sales which did so much good for the world but also taught me a lot. And of course who can forget the Blue Peter Badge…”

So we got it out of him in the end. Mister Maker thinks Blue Peter is greatest children’s show ever. But the question is, do you agree?

Vote for the Kids TV Champ here.

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Mister Maker Magazine is on sale now until 18th November, priced at £3.75