Exclusive – The Story of Tracy Beaker cast reveal their favourite scenes from the original CBBC series
RadioTimes.com spoke to some of the cast of The Story of Tracy Beaker to find out their favourite scenes from the 2002 series.
CBBC icon Tracy Beaker returns to our screens today in brand new series My Mum Tracy Beaker, in which we catch-up with the now-30-year-old character as she raises her daughter Jess (Emma Davies).
With the Dumping Ground celebrity coming back, RadioTimes.com spoke to cast members of 2002's The Story of Tracy Beaker about their favourite moments from the original CBBC series.
From Crash, Louise and the adorable Maxy, to Cam and Mike, the actors behind some of your favourite childhood characters shared their favourite memories from set.
Jerome Holder – Maxy
Best known for playing Maxy on The Story of Tracy Beaker's first series, Jerome Holder's favourite moment from his time on the show was the first season's Garden Party scene. "It's been meme'd and overlaid with different music from Garage to Jungle and I laugh at it every time. Beautiful to watch us as little kids throwing it down to which ever club classic the creator has chosen us to wild out to that day," he says.
While Jerome was six when The Story of Tracy Beaker started, he looks back on the show with the "fondest of minds". "I remember we all really loved each other and I remember laughing so, so much. We obviously didn't know what we were creating but, looking back, you could tell it was something special."
Connor Byrne – Mike
Connor Byrne, who played care worker Mike in The Story of Tracy Beaker, Tracy Beaker Returns and The Dumping Ground, says he remembers "food fights, cheese sauce in wellies, a lot of laughter, even more parenting".
"I don't have a favourite scene," he tells RadioTimes.com. "What I cherish was the ethos, the inclusivity, the didactic nature of all the shows. You can't love all the kids you work with, but many of them stole my heart. None more so than Dani – a wise head on very young shoulders, a funny head in a very serious job, a diligent head amongst the frivolity."
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Ciarán Joyce – Lol
Ciaran Joyce, who played Laurence 'Lol' Plakova for all three series, says he loved all the group scenes, especially the food fights.
"We were so young, like teenagers, I think I was 14 when I started. The food fights were fun. We had a couple of food fights and they were always a laugh because of the anticipation of getting to do it.
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"The directors would make sure they got all the coverage they needed and then all of us would kind of be on edge going, 'Right, when are they going to let us go for it?' Because once you're messy, it takes you so long to get you clean again and the costumes back on that they only get one or two goes at it so the food fights were always a real laugh. You'd end up launching mash potato in one of your mate's faces and get paid for it."
Darragh Mortell – Crash
Darragh Mortell, who played Tracy's best friend Liam 'Crash' Watkins in three series of The Story of Tracy Beaker, says his favourite scene involved Crash coming face-to-face with his father, played by Patrick Robinson.
"I had been in the show for a couple of years and was starting to get more confident with the emotional moments," he says. "In scenes with Patrick, I felt challenged yet comfortable, and with the director establishing a very relaxed atmosphere on set, I later drew upon these invaluable lessons when I began my own directing career."
Alicia Hooper – Amber
Alicia Hooper, who played the banana-wearing Amber Hearst in series two, says one of her favourite episodes was one in which the Dumping Ground kids all started working.
"Growing up, The Story of Tracy Beaker was literally my favourite book, so being asked to be part of the TV series was a dream come true," she says. "I was 15 when I joined the cast and filmed all of the second series throughout the summer holidays.
"I think one of my favourite moments out of the series was when they all had to get jobs. It's like they had a glimpse of what life would be like in the real world and it was pure comedy watching them all as individuals trying to navigate what they were going to do to try and earn money! I had great fun filming the scene where Amber went to work in a shop with Adele and just kept getting into trouble!"
Chelsie Padley – Louise
Chelsie Padley, who played Justine's best friend Louise Govern from 2002 to 2004 on the show, says that series two in general "was just an absolute ball".
"I remember the episode where the Dumping Ground kids formed a band and we had to sing and dance to this awful song but found it hilarious," she says. "I loved dressing up too, Louise wasn’t very feisty but she was pretty dramatic when she wanted to be and I remember the ‘cry a river of tears’ monologue was fun to do.
"And of course, series one, episode one when Louise and Tracy have a big fight is a great memory. It was quite early on in filming and I was a sweet little 10-year-old kid, so the director was trying to fire me up so I really went for it and, if I remember rightly, Dani and I certainly went for it and got it done in one take!"
Lisa Coleman – Cam
Lisa Coleman played Tracy's foster mum Cam Lawson in The Story of Tracy Beaker, Tracy Beaker Returns and also returns for the brand new series My Mum Tracy Beaker.
In terms of her favourite scene, she says she really liked the singing episode – Life Is a Cabaret. "I liked doing the song and dressing up and also the bit when I say 'goodnight' to Tracy and it was all a dream and then, when I close her bedroom door, I’ve got long fingernails like my scary character in her nightmare. That made me laugh."
Cara Jayne Readle – Layla
Cara Jayne Readle, who played Layla from series three until five, says her favourite scene featured in the episode which saw Chantal (Deepal Parmar) leave the Dumping Ground.
"Layla, Lol, Wolfie, Crash and Marco dressed up as Wellards. Layla never wore any makeup but in this episode she got to wear black lipstick and have her hair up, it was great fun," she says.
Felix Drake – Wolfie
Felix Drake, who played Sean 'Wolfie' Lynch on series four and five, says he loved a scene in which Crash (Darragh Morrell) broke lots of tableware.
"My favourite part of the show is probably when they let Crash smash up all the bowls and plates – probably not the most sensible form of anger management but who doesn't dream of making a big mess as a kid?" he says.
Jack Edwards – Marco
Jack Edwards, who played Marco Maloney for three series, says he doesn't necessarily have a favourite memory but does have a most memorable moment.
"There was one scene where I had to hang 20ft upside down from a tree dressed as a bat. I was so frightened of doing the scene, by the time I'd got up there I was completely frozen with fear, started crying and couldn't say any of my lines. They had about three seconds of footage to use which they managed to make work and I had to say my lines in post production!
"Also, any scene with Nisha Nayar (Elaine the Pain). An absolute legend," he adds.
My Mum Tracy Beaker is available to watch on BBC iPlayer and airs from Friday 12th February on CBBC. If you're looking for more to watch, check out our TV Guide.