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Sunday, October 27, 2013

Nickelodeon News Round-Up - Issue 9

Below is a selection of articles from around the internet which feature news, commentary and information about Nickelodeon:

Need a babysitter? You can't go wrong with samandcatssuperrockinfuntimebabysittingservice.com! The hilarious website features bios for Sam Puckett and Cat Valentine, two of the best babysitters in the business, testimonials from some of their most satisfied clients, and a online streaming video of their commercial.*

* The website was set up by Nickelodeon and Dan Schneider for the recent brand new "Sam & Cat" episode "#BabysittingCommercial".

The video game website n3rdabl3 has unveiled a review of Nickelodeon Games and Activision's recently released brand new "SpongeBob SquarePants: Plankton's Robotic Revenge" video game, an all-new action-adventure video game available for the Xbox 360 games and entertainment system from Microsoft, PlayStation 3 (PS3) computer entertainment system, Nintendo Wii and Wii U systems, and the Nintendo DS and 3DS handheld systems. The review also includes a selection of great screenshots from the game.

Nick or Treat!: Still deciding on your Halloween costume? Look no further! Nickelodeon Italy (Italia) has unveiled a exclusive photo gallery which features pictures of popular Nickelodeon stars in their best spook-tacular costumes, which is full of Halloween costume inspiration!

Shredder Speaks!: The Hollywood News has unveiled a short interview they recently held with the American actor William Fichtner ("The Lone Ranger", "Drive Angry", "The Perfect Storm", "Prison Break", "Armageddon", "Grand Theft Auto", about Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies' upcoming "Ninja Turtles" movie. In the interview, William Fichtner, who will be playing Eric Sachs, also known as Shredder, in the film, talks about how the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will look. William Fichtner also confirms that Shredder's bumbling mutant henchmen B-Bop and Rocksteady are not in the movie.

Heffron Drive Tour!: The Huffington Post Teen is reporting that Nickelodeon and "Big Time Rush" star Kendall Schmidt is taking his band Heffron Drive on the road for a tour of the USA, and he says he "couldn't be more stoked."! Schmidt and Dustin Belt will kick off their tour in Houston on Saturday 23rd November 2013 and play a series of dates throughout November and December around the country. Kendall promises surprises for fans at each and every show. News via Nickutopia.

The Daily Mail is reporting that Nickelodeon Star Ana Mulvoy-Ten, who portrays the character 'Amber Millington' on the hit Nickelodeon original mystery drama series "House of Anubis", recently attended a private viewing of a brand new photo gallery exhibition called Submerged by photographer Tyler Shields at Imitate Modern in London, UK! The article includes a photo of Ana Mulvoy-Ten with Tyler Shields at the event.

The Huffington Post is reporting that The National Toy Hall of Fame has narrowed the nominees for its class of 2013. This year's finalists are: Bubbles, chess, the board game Clue, Fisher-Price Little People, little green Army men, the Magic 8 Ball, My Little Pony, Nerf toys, the Pac-Man video game, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the scooter and the rubber duck. The museum announced the 12 finalists Tuesday, two of which will be enshrined alongside Barbie, the hula hoop, Lionel trains and dozens of other famous playthings next month. A national selection committee will vote on which two will follow last year's winners, dominoes and "Star Wars" action figures, into the 15-year-old hall, located inside The Strong museum in Rochester. Anyone can nominate a toy for induction. A museum committee of curators, educators and historians chooses the finalists based on a toy's longevity, innovation, and other attributes. Each toy must be widely recognized; foster learning, creativity or discovery through play; and endure in popularity over generations, according to the hall. This year's nominees trace their origins across centuries, from chess, which evolved in England during the 15th century, to the rubber ducky, which appeared in the 1800s, to Pac-Man and My Little Pony, which appeared in the 1980s. A Chicago company called Chemtoy sold the first soap bubble solution in the 1940s, though paintings of children playing with bubbles appeared in the country of Flanders in the 17th century, hall officials said. Some of the nominees have made the finals before, including plastic green Army men, Clue and the Magic 8 Ball. Thousands of suggestions come in every year. Previous winners range from classics, like Play-Doh and Slinky, to the less obvious, like the stick and cardboard box. This year's winners will be announced at an induction ceremony Nov. 7. Which toys will make it into the hallowed halls of toydom this November? Take the poll here on toyhalloffame.org!

Ninja Pizza is reporting that Nickelodeon has recently launched a new "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" Fan Club website at tmntfanclub.com to replace their "Turtles vs. Foot" website. Fans who sign up have the opportunity to enter contests to win prizes by sharing TMNT posts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Currently, fans can enter to win Bebop and Rocksteady production action figures, a signed Nickelodeon season 2 script, and an Xbox 360.

ToyNews is reporting that Smyths Toys Superstores has launched its first marketing campaign in its partnership with creative partner TWBA Manchester. Running on prime-time TV in the UK and Ireland, the new broadcast campaign follows a group of the latest toys on the market as they make their way from a Smyths store to the door of a young child. The advert features toy ranges from popular brands such as Nickelodeon, including "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" and "Dora the Explorer", Mattel, LEGO, Hasbro, Flair, and Disney, and depicts their journey across the UK. The campaign includes brand and tactical executions, sponsorship idents for ITV's "You've Been Framed" and "Big Star's Little Star" along with press, outdoor, radio and point of sale materials. A 60-second version of the ad also ran during "The X Factor" on September 28th September 2013. You can also read the full press release here on PRWeb and watch the full TV advert here on YouTube.

Ariana Grande on Family Guy!: Nickelodeon Star Ariana Grande has announced the news in two Tweets on her official Twitter profile page (@ArianaGrande) on Friday 27th September 2013 that she has recorded a line of dialogue for a upcoming brand new episode of Seth MacFarlane's hit animated FOX series "Family Guy"! It is currently unknown whether she will be voicing a cartoon version of herself to guest star on the show or a new character, and what the episode will be about. This isn't the first time Ariana has recorded her voice for a animated show - Ariana provides the voice of villain Princess Diaspro in Nickelodeon's "Winx Club" and Cat Valentine in "The Lil' Sam & Cat Show", the animated companion series to her hit Nick sitcom, "Sam & Cat".

Meanwhile, Ariana Grande is also busy getting into the festive spirit! Ariana posted on Twitter on 26th September 2013 that recently recorded the first of a series of Christmas songs for Christmas 2013! Plus, in celebration of her gaining ten million (10,000,000) Twitter followers, she will be releasing her hit song Pink Champagne as a single!

Walmart has announced in a press release that America's largest seller of toys, teamed up with the experts in toys – kids – has named Playmates Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Secret Sewer Lair Playset as a top toy in the "Kids 6 to 7 years" category its annual holiday top toy list. Walmart brought together 1,000 kids ages 18 months to 10 years to test, play with, and help select the top toys for the season. Timed with the "Chosen by Kids" top toy list unveiling, Walmart has rolled back prices on hundreds of dolls, action figures, ride-on toys and more.

They agree on free: US and UK kids’ app choices: iKids is reporting that American kids and their counterparts across the pond in the UK are showing the same predilection for free educational iPad apps, but when it comes to dishing out dollars and pounds for paid apps their tastes seemingly differ. That's according to up-to-the-minute stats from data aggregator App Annie, which shows how mobile games are performing on varying platforms and in different countries. The data reveals that the top three free iPad apps in the UK and the US are mirrored, and while the number one paid educational iPad app (Toca Cars) is the same in both countries, the rest of the lists are impacted by respective localized children's properties. (Toca Cars, for its part, has been the top paid educational iPad app across Australia, France, Canada, The Netherlands, Sweden, Russia and Singapore.) And with research firm Gartner today predicting that the total number of app downloads in 2013 will surpass 100 billion, and free apps will account for a whopping 91% of these downloads, it's never been more important to focus on this segment. Among the most popular paid apps amongst preschoolers in the USA are Nickelodeon Preschool's "Dora's Great Big World HD" and "Dora Appisode: Perrito’s Big Surprise HD" apps!

iKids is reporting that, with children in the UK clocking more than 23 million hours of TV every day, and roughly 10% of British three-to-four-year-olds using a tablet at home, it's not surprising that television and digital media execs would start to think out of the box and about the screen. Among them are former Nickelodeon UK MD Howard Litton and Skype/LoveFilm advisor Peter Read, who are backing Hopster, a brand new kids on-demand TV channel embodied in a single app that delivers preschool shows and games to touchscreen devices. The Netflix-like subscription-based service founded by former Viacom executive Nick Walters will launch in the UK App Store in November 2013 with episodes of licensed content and interactive learning games that are automatically customized based on the TV shows that kids are watching. As part of the service, Hopster will stream a range of classic Nickelodeon, Nick UK and Nick Jr. UK preschool series, including "Babar", "Little Bear", "Max & Ruby" and "Maggie & The Ferocious Beast" from Nelvana, "SuperWhy" and "Paddington Bear" from DHX Media and "Pablo the Little Red Fox" and "Louie" from Millimages. The ad-free channel will also feature the children's shows "Babar and the Adventures of Badou" (Nelvana); "Madeline" and "Monster Math Squad" (DHX Media); and "64 Zoo Lane" (Millimages). The non-exclusive licensing deals already inked are nearing 800 episodes, with more to be announced in the coming months. "Everyone's trying to figure out what the future of TV-watching for kids looks like. For us, it’s touchscreen devices,” says Walters, former GM of Nickelodeon Russia. Digital TV Europe is reporting that Hospter's management includes Sander Striker from Vdio, Joost and Apache, Mahesh Ramachandra who has worked for Galleon Entertainment, Cellcast and Event Check-in and Bradley Archer, a former Nickelodeon executive like Walters. The Hopster advisory board includes Howard Litton, former MD of Nickelodeon UK, investor Peter Read, Bhavneet Singh, president and CEO of Pearson English and Tony Orsten of twofour54 and Paramount Pictures. You can read the full news here on Kidscreen.com, plus read more about the news story at DigitalTVEurope.net, TechCrunch.com, Babble.com, and FastCompany.com.

Now Magazine is reporting that, while most kids would be impressed if their dad was "X-Men" superhero Wolverine, not Hugh Jackman's son! Oscar, 13, prefers to think of his famous father as a professional belcher. "My son was like, "You're really nothing like Wolverine. I used to think you were like him, but you just look like him, that's all" - which is pretty true," says Hugh, 44. "He was more impressed when he thought I was a burping champion. When he was younger, I won the Nickelodeon burping competition [at the Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards 2004] and he saw it." "So for a while he thought that was all I did." Hugh - who is a doting dad to adopted children Oscar and Ava, 8, with his wife Deborra-Lee Furness, 57 - doesn't think his son will follow in his acting footsteps. "All the kids at school were asked what they want to be when they grow up," the Aussie star tells Notebook. "Oscar was like, "I want to be a Pharoah!" I was like, "Excellent. We need one in the family!""

Variety is reporting that DreamWorks Animation has acquired the library of U.K.-based children's television company Chapman Entertainment in an expansion of its TV portfolio which will now feature the popular preschool television series "Little Charley Bear", "Raa Raa the Noisy Lion", and Nick Jr. UK's "Fifi and the Flowertots" and "Roary the Racing Car". DWA's Chapman acquisition follows its purchase in July of 2012 of New York-based Classic Media, which includes properties such as "Archie”, "Fat Albert", "Rocky and Bullwinkle" and "The Lone Ranger" and is expected to account for about $50 million of DWA's 2013 TV revenue. The move also follows the appointment in July 2013 of veteran Nickelodeon executive Marjorie Cohn to serve as its first head of television to run its new television group which is a significant growth area for the cartoon studio. As for the newly acquired Chapman series, "Little Charley Bear" has been sold into roughly 100 countries, including the UK, where it airs on CBeebies, which also holds the license to "Raa Raa the Noisy Lion". Meanwhile, "Fifi and the Flowertots" has broadcast deals in more than 200 countries and "Roary the Racing Car" airs in 100 countries and is seen on Milkshake in the UK. Chapman Entertainment was formed in 2002 by Keith Chapman, the originator of "Bob the Builder". It entered administration in November 2012. (Additional information from Kidscreen and Licensing.biz.)

Kidscreen is reporting the news that the Waheed Alli's London-based independent production studio Silvergate Media, a co-producer of Nickelodeon USA's new CG-animated "Peter Rabbit" and Cbeebies' "Octonauts" preschool series, has launched its own dedicated TV distribution arm to be headed up by former France Télévisions and Chorion exec Geraint Marsh. As SVP of global TV distribution & consumer products (Americas & France), Marsh will be responsible for the global exploitation of rights across television and digital media, and consumer products in the Americas and France for Silvergate's key brands. Marsh was most recently EVP of television and consumer products at France Télévisions Distribution and previously SVP of television sales at Chorion. He held various roles in publishing and TV distribution earlier in his career. The new "Peter Rabbit" airs in the U.S. (Nickelodeon), U.K. (BBC's CBeebies), France and Australia (ABC TV), with a launch in Germany coming later this year (2013). Silvergate holds worldwide licensing and merchandising rights for the Classic Peter Rabbit property and holds all worldwide audiovisual, licensing and merchandising rights for the new CGI "Peter Rabbit", excluding the Americas and India which are controlled by Nickelodeon. Penguin is supporting the animation with a full publishing program. Silvergate also holds all audiovisual and worldwide licensing and merchandising rights to "Octonauts", a preschool series based on books by the award-winning design team Meomi, and features the adventures of a team of underwater explorers. You can read more about this news story here on The Hollywood Reporter and Broadcast.

In pictures: Nick at Nite star Tia Mowry-Hardrict and her two-year-old son, Cree, walk down Nickelodeon's purple carpet wearing colour co-ordinated outfits to match the famous orange Nickelodeon logo for NickMom's recent special panel discussion on Wednesday 25th September 2013. Tia Mowry-Hardrict is the star of Nick@Nite's brand-new, live-action family comedy series, "Instant Mom", which currently airs every Sunday at 8:30pm (ET/PT) on Nick USA's nighttime programming strand and later the same night at 10:00pm on NickMom. The series debuted on Sunday 29th September 2013 to strong ratings.

The GD Entertainment Fund, a Luxembourg-based boutique investment fund, has signed on to co-finance a range of Imira Entertainment shows, reports Licensing.biz. The deal completes the funding for animated titles "Lucky Fred" and "Bat Pat", both of which will now enter production. "Lucky Fred" is an original Imira Entertainment animated co-production with Televisió de Catalunya and Rai Fiction that is currently shown in the LatAm region on Nickelodeon Latin America and Nickelodeon Brazil (Brasil). The animated series is about a young boy named Fred and Friday, his shape-shifting robot.

To celebrate Tia Mowry-Hardrict's brand new original Nick at Nite comedy series, "Instant Mom", The Hollywood Reporter has unveiled a exclusive interview with Tia Mowry-Hardrict, in which she talks about the shows unique take on motherhood, how the show fills a TV void, how she got involved with "Instant Mom", what it's like also being a producer on the show, if there are any plans for her sister, Tamera Mowry-Housley, and/or brother, Tahj Dayton Mowry from ABC Family's "Baby Daddy", to guest star on "Instant Mom", how the show features a entirely African-American cast, and about her reality show, "Tia & Tamera".

Kidscreen is reporting that Entertainment One Family (eOne Family) has made a round of new broadcast deals across Central Eastern Europe and other European markets for a raft of their children's properties including "Peppa Pig" and new brand "Simon's Cat". MTVA in Hungary has picked up a selection of shows that will launch on the channel for the first time this year. Acquisitions include the first two seasons of "Peppa Pig" and "Ben and Holly's Little Kingdom", CGI-animated farmyard series "Tractor Tom", a live action series, "Mist", which follows the rural adventures of a young sheepdog, and short film "Lost and Found". In Ukraine, FTA kids channel Inter 1+1 will debut all six seasons of "Peppa Pig", the first two seasons of "Tractor Tom", preschool show "Rob the Robot" and "Lost and Found". Meanwhile, Chello Central Europe has licensed the broadcast rights to "Lost and Found" and has also renewed "Pat and Stan" shorts for its pan regional Minimax and Megamax channels across several territories in Central Eastern Europe including Hungary, Romanian Czech Republic, Slovakia, Serbia and Croatia. Chello is also the first in the region to acquire animation shorts of eOne's new property "Simon’s Cat", which will be aired in several of the same countries. Rounding out these sales are new and returning broadcast deals for "Peppa Pig" and "Lost and Found" across Europe. In Scandinavia, NRK in Norway has taken series three and four of "Peppa Pig" and YLE in Finland has licensed TV rights for "Lost and Found". Star Channel in Greece will air series three of "Peppa Pig" this fall, Capital TV in Cyprus has picked up series one and two of "Peppa Pig" and Noga Communications in Israel has acquired "Lost and Found".

The free-to-air (FTA) broadcaster Televisa has acquired the broadcast and consumer products licensing rights to eOne Family and Nick Jr. UK's hit preschool property "Peppa Pig" for Mexico, reports Kidscreen. Televisa will begin airing episodes throughout Mexico by the end of 2013. And in conjunction with the broadcast launch, the company will be developing a full L&M campaign for the property. Consumer products and promotions for "Peppa Pig" are likely to debut in Mexico in 2014, with a soft launch starting in Q3 and a full product launch hitting Mexican retail in Q4 2014. eOne has also partnered with Exim Licensing Group to develop a major consumer products program for the IP in South America, where "Peppa Pig" will air on Discovery Kids Latin America. The firm will look to develop toys, publishing and home entertainment categories throughout the region. The first line of products is slated to launch at retail in 2014 in Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Argentina, Peru and Ecuador.

Meanwhile, Kidscreen is also reporting that Entertainment One Family (eOne Family) has also made a round of new broadcast deals across Central Eastern Europe and other European markets for its children's properties including "Peppa Pig" and new brand "Simon's Cat". MTVA in Hungary has picked up a selection of shows that will launch on the channel for the first time this year (2013). Acquisitions include the first two seasons of "Peppa Pig" and "Ben and Holly's Little Kingdom", CGI-animated farmyard series "Tractor Tom", a live action series, "Mist", which follows the rural adventures of a young sheepdog, and short film "Lost and Found". In Ukraine, FTA kids channel Inter 1+1 will debut all six seasons of "Peppa Pig", the first two seasons of "Tractor Tom", preschool show "Rob the Robot" and "Lost and Found". Meanwhile, Chello Central Europe has licensed the broadcast rights to "Lost and Found" and has also renewed "Pat and Stan" shorts for its pan regional Minimax and Megamax channels across several territories in Central Eastern Europe including Hungary, Romanian Czech Republic, Slovakia, Serbia and Croatia. Chello is also the first in the region to acquire animation shorts of eOne's new property "Simon's Cat", which will be aired in several of the same countries. Rounding out these sales are new and returning broadcast deals for "Peppa Pig" and "Lost and Found" across Europe. In Scandinavia, NRK in Norway has taken series three and four of "Peppa Pig" and YLE in Finland has licensed TV rights for "Lost and Found". Star Channel in Greece will air series three of "Peppa Pig" this fall/autumn, Capital TV in Cyprus has picked up series one and two of "Peppa Pig" and Noga Communications in Israel has acquired "Lost and Found". More on licensing.biz.

SLIMEFEST 2013 - The Soundtrack!: Nickelodeon Australia and New Zealand has released the SLIMEFEST 2013 compilation CD! Out now, it features music from Big Time Rush, Guy Sebastian, Samantha Jade, Justice Crew, One Direction, Justin Bieber and much more! Buy your copy online today at sanity.com.au!

In a exclusive interview with GlobalGrind.com, Nickelodeon Star Benjamin "Lil P-Nut" Flores Jr. freestyles & talks Drake, turning 11, and his new Nick comedy series "The Haunted Hathaways", in which he plays Louie Preston. The article also includes a exclusive video!

Classic Nickelodeon Star Melissa Joan Hart ("Clarissa Explains It All", "Sabrina, the Teenage Witch") will be releasing a brand new tell-all book called "Melissa Explains It All", in which she reveals just what she got up to after "Clarissa" and "Sabrina", and it's guaranteed to make your jaw hit the floor faster than a witty retort from talking cat Salem Saberhagen, reports The Mirror.

Melissa Joan Hart also recently celebrated her son Tucker turning one with family trip to DisneyLand! The 37-year-old television star rode the attractions with husband Mark Wilkerson and her older sons Mason and Brady at the theme park in Anaheim, California. Tucker clearly enjoyed his best birthday ever as he smiled while tucked between his parents on the adventurous "Alice In Wonderland" ride in Fantasyland. You can see a selection of photographs of Melissa Joan Hart and her family visiting DisneyLand in California, USA, here on the official Daily Mail website! Happy Birthday, Tucker!

The Huffington Post is reporting that the American actress Alexa Vega has explained why she thinks her fiancé, Nickelodeon Star and Big Time Rush singer Carlos Pena, Jr., is the one.

The popular film and television actor and political enthusiast, Sean Astin, who can currently be heard as the voice of 'Raphael' in the hit Nickelodeon "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" TV series, has announced in a press release has just launched a crowd funding effort to raise $30,000 from Kickstarter to take his "Vox Populi" online political radio show to the next level. With the government shut down, average people are looking at elected officials and wondering why they aren't communicating. Astin's show is an example of how that can be effectively done. The weekly show (Broadcast on the Toad­-Hop Network) brilliantly matches guests with opposing viewpoints. The premise of the show is to use civil discourse to explore often hot button topics. Sean expertly interviews notable subjects while effortlessly guiding the broader conversation, creating a unique model for political talk radio. Currently he has completed thirty-five 2 hour shows with 12,000-15,000 loyal listeners each week. The KickStarter, once funded, will help create a more fully produced listening and viewing experience, continuing the important conversations which cover politics, government and world events. The fundraising will take place between October 1, 2013 through October 30, 2013. Astin's Kickstarter fund can be found here at http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1537018232/vox-populi-voice-of-the-occasionally-interested-pe. Sean Astin (born February 25, 1971) is an American film actor, director, voice artist, and producer best known for his film roles as 'Samwise Gamgee' in the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, 'Mikey Walsh' in "The Goonies," and the title character of "Rudy." In television, he appeared as 'Lynn McGill' in the fifth season of "24" and currently voices 'Raphael' in the Nickelodeon "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" TV series. Astin is currently in production for the much anticipated series "The Strain" for FX based on Guillermo del Toro's Novel Series.

Licensing.biz is reporting that Big Tent Entertainment has struck two new deals, launching "Domo" into games and puzzles and vinyl cases. Big Tent Entertainment is expanding its Domo portfolio with new deals introducing the character to vinyl skins and games and puzzles. In a deal with SkinIt, Domo will feature on stylish and protective vinyl skins for smart phones, tablets, gaming devices, laptops and more. Meanwhile, Magnote is launching a series of branded puzzles and games including sticky notes, magnetic desk puzzles, Gigo blocks and Manga tracing templates. Mascot of the Japanese public broadcaster, NHK, Domo has become one of the Internet's most popular sensations finding its home as a pop culture icon within the online viral community, including YouTube, Facebook and Instagram. Domo also had a short-form Nickelodeon TV with Nicktoons in North America and Nickelodeon Worldwide that launched in 2007.

Kent Online is reporting that the American actor, model, director and professional athlete Kurt Yaeger, who had a role in Nickelodeon and Clear Channel Communications' "Maximum Rocket Power Live: The Battle for Madtown Park", a live-action extreme-sports dramatic arena play based on Nickelodeon's popular Nicktoon "Rocket Power" that briefly toured the U.S. Midwest in spring 2002, recently made a VIP appearance at The Gathering Deal, a show of skills on wheels which was held at Deal Skate Park in Kent, UK by Tides, that showcased skateboards, inliners, scooters and a featured a BMX show of skills. Kurt's visit to Deal is part of a tour of the United Kingdom to promote himself, his sponsors and other UK business interested in supporting his causes for this tour. The trip will be documented by a professional film producer and edited into a multi- part series. The series will be featured on xgames.com, espn.com, multiple BMX outlets, and YouTube. The musical line-up included Craig Sheridan, Nicola Jane, The Black Mirrors, Suburban Radio and Crashgate. There was also TV coverage for Kurt's five part TV series and a after party at the Astor Theatre.

The News & Star, via the North-West Evening Mail, is reporting that a delegation of officials are heading to Japan next month to spend five days on a trade mission, with more than 50 office trips and meeting 100 contacts. They are on a mission to sell the Lake District as the ideal holiday destination, meeting scores of people involved in the Japanese travel trade. The delegation from the Lake District Japan Forum will be visiting Osaka, Nagoya and Tokyo between October 21 and 25. The Lake District has become a firm favourite with Japanese tourists due to its Beatrix Potter links, but lost out last year to the Olympics. Colin Fox, chairman of the Japan Forum and group marketing manager with English Lakes, said they had a “fantastic relationship” with the Japanese travel trade. “We continue to see impressive numbers of guests from the country,” he said. “By going out to speak direct and update the right people, the Lake District has become a number one destination outside of London in the UK and we aim to help this continue for many years to come.” Angela Metcalfe, commercial manager for Cumbria Tourism, said the Lake District was the ‘jewel in the crown’ of the county’s £2bn tourism industry. “We are so pleased that Cumbria Tourism and the Japan Forum have this opportunity to update the Japanese travel trade about new developments in the county and the chance to provide people with more information about the area,” she said. “The kosuichihou.com website is one way anyone interested in the Japanese business can get some exposure to the market and we will highlight the benefits of this excellent translated site during the visit.” The trip follows the recent launch of Nickelodeon's all new "Peter Rabbit" animations, set against a backdrop of Lake District locations. Tourism bosses said the new CG-animated series is now being broadcast around the world via NickJr and via CBeebies in the UK and it was ‘inevitable’ they would create a fresh wave of enthusiasm for visitors to the Lakes. The delegation includes representatives from The World of Beatrix Potter Attraction, Dove Cottage, Windermere Lake Cruises, The National Trust and English Lakes Hotels Resorts and Venues.

Dell has announced in a press release, via 4-Traders,, that the multi award-winning, London-based animation production company Blue Zoo has implemented a robust Dell infrastructure to support development of the highly successful children's book Q Pootle 5 into an animated TV series to be broadcast internationally, as well as enable the studio's expansion into film. With an animation portfolio including "Olive the Ostrich" for Nickelodeon UK and Nick Jr. UK and "Tree Fu Tom" for the BBC, Blue Zoo has experience working with some of Europe's largest broadcasters. However, upon winning the Q Pootle 5 contract for Snapper Films, Blue Zoo needed to increase its render farm architecture and workstation capacity, and fast. Blue Zoo turned to Dell to deliver a robust, reliable technology infrastructure with scale and stability, allowing the team to work faster and better, while saving money. The solution included powerful and reliable workstations to be used by animators as well as high performance servers to drive the software. The Dell Precision T1650 workstations were rolled out across the Blue Zoo design, animation and editing teams, replacing the legacy HP Z series. These Dell workstations ensured that those working on intensive projects had access to quiet yet powerful processors, delivering optimum performance and minimal distraction. Office space was also maximised due to the small form-factor of the machines - essential at a time of team expansion and soaring London office rental costs. Improved switching with Dell Networking has helped boost data throughout the network and provided high speed access to images for high-definition editing which has led to faster completion of projects, often beating exceptionally tight deadlines. Additionally, Dell PowerEdge C servers double the render-farm power without increasing server footprint or energy consumption. To provide peace of mind and protect against any delays, overall infrastructure performance is maintained by a range of Dell Services, including Dell ProSupport Mission Critical with four-hour on-site support. The deployment shows how integrated technology solutions are helping creative businesses develop and grow. With the Dell Precision workstations and render farm, Blue Zoo is now on schedule to complete its latest TV series and is planning to expand into film as a result of its improved animation capabilities.

The Mirror is reporting that the talented pianist Curtis Elton, who was nominated for Nickelodeon's Fruit Shoot Skills Awards 2012's "Rising Music Star" Skillie Award, which celebrates the slickest young musicians out there ready and waiting to rock out in front of thousands of fans on stage, has become the youngest person in the world to receive a degree-equivalent diploma, called a ATCL diploma, which is equivalent to a first-year degree, for his piano playing skills! Congratulations, Curtis Elton!!

NAMIC (National Association for Multi-ethnicity in Communications) has announced in a press release the roster for Class XIII of its Executive Leadership Development Program (ELDP). Presented in partnership with the University Of Virginia Darden School Of Business, NAMIC's education partner, ELDP Class XIII will be facilitated over the course of four sessions. Scheduled for October and December of 2013, and February and April of 2014, all sessions take place on the Darden grounds in Charlottesville, Virginia. Graduating a total of 434 executives of color since the program's inception, NAMIC's ELDP targets upper middle managers of color (directors with a minimum of two years at that level and above). The program's central goal is to develop business leaders of color who will be well prepared to assume the top roles within the communications industry. ELDP was created in response to some of the industry's most persistent challenges: increasing the diversity of the industry's executive suites; retention of executives of color; and maximizing the ROI of a diverse workforce in a business environment that demands strategic leadership agility and creative innovation. Emphasizing professional growth, the program addresses the unique challenges faced by executives of color, while strengthening the business competencies that all executives must have in order to be successful. The ELDP curriculum explores a range of topics and business functions such as strategy, finance, marketing, innovation, and leadership agility, presented as integrated components of a holistic learning experience. "NAMIC is honored to continue collaborating with Darden, our academic partner, and with all of the companies that support ELDP," said James C. Jones, NAMIC's Vice President, Education Programs and Diversity Solutions. "Our common goal of achieving diversity at the top echelons of the cable telecommunications industry can be realized by helping to cultivate savvy, results-driven problem solvers who thrive on diversity of thought, diversity of culture, and diversity of world-view." The members of ELDP Class XIII are: Angela Albert, Region Vice President, Human Resources, Comcast; Malek Robert Amirshahi, Vice President, Public Relations, Nickelodeon; Bryen Aoyama, Director, Digital Project Management (Digital Advertising); Yvette Badua, Director, Traffic Operations, Time Warner Cable; Rickey Austyn Biggers, Senior Director, Development, BET; Tanique Blair, Senior Director, Nickelodeon; Christine Chong, Executive Director, Workforce Management, Comcast; Deretta Cole, Vice President, Human Resources, Turner Broadcasting; Anthony DiCosmo, Vice President, Sports Marketing, Nickelodeon; Yvette Encarnacion, Vice President and Senior Counsel, Viacom Media Networks; Claire Evans, Director, Marketing and Product Sales, Comcast, Ricky Frazier, Regional Vice President, Customer Care, Comcast; Amit Garg, Senior Director, Comcast; Iris Gonzalez, Corporate Director of Multicultural Strategies, Bright House Networks; Thomas Grayman, Senior Director, Spike TV Brand and Consumer Research, Viacom Media Networks; Tamara Gregory, Senior Director, Development & Production, BET/Viacom; Howie Hodges II, Vice President, External Affairs, Time Warner Cable; Christine Hong, Senior Director, Asset Management, ESPN; Meghan Hooper White, Vice President, Acquisitions, Lifetime Network, A+E Networks; Tamera Hylton, Senior Counsel, Turner Broadcasting; Renard Jenkins, Senior Director, Post Production and Network Operations, PBS; Alexis Johnson, Vice President, Content Acquisition, Time Warner Cable; Lawrence Jung, Director, Research, Scripps Networks Interactive; Sonia Koo, Director, Corporate Communications, BET; Robert Lewis, Senior Director, Production, BET; David Maharaj, Executive Director, IT, Cox Communications; Marisol Martinez, Senior Director, Time Warner Cable; Rajat Maulay, Captain/Pilot, Comcast Corporation; Phillip McKibbins, Senior Director, Emerging Technology, ESPN; Cheryl Middleton Jones, Vice President, Human Resources, Scripps Networks Interactive; Wanita Niehaus, Vice President, Marketing and Corporate Communications, Scripps Networks Interactive; Kia Painter, Vice President, Human Resources, Cox Communications; Leslie Pearce, Vice President, Sales and Retention Operations, Comcast; Monique Prince, Director, Fashion Basics and Footwear, Nickelodeon; Jacquelyn Puente, Senior Director, External Affairs, Comcast Corporation; Munzer Qaddourah, Vice President, Cox Media; Lucia Rodriguez, Senior Director, Multicultural Retention Marketing, Comcast; Ximena Rogers, Director, Marketing, Comcast; Satish Sampangiramiah, Principal Engineer - II, Comcast; Sudhanshu Sharma, Director, Video Engineering, Comcast; Joyclan Sumpter, Director, Distribution Operations, The Weather Channel Companies; Chantal Thomas, Director, Search Engine Optimization, MTV; Jose E. Velez Silva, Senior Director, Marketing Communications, Comcast; Keirsten Wanamaker, Senior Director of Photography, Press Art and Styling Group, Viacom Media Networks; Janet West, Vice President of Marketing, Southwest Region, Cox Communications; Kimberly Wilson, Vice President, Affiliate Marketing, Disney and ESPN Media Networks.

The Partnership for a Healthier America has announced in a press release that Nickelodeon USA will be helping the PHA's "Drink Up" pro-social campaign by lending their creative/advertising support to encourage viewers to drink more water. PHA is asking people across the country to visit www.youarewhatyoudrink.org to join in a virtual "Cheers!" to water, or to find the initiative on Instagram (www.instagram.com/urH2O), tagging their pictures #DrinkH2O.

SeptBender: A journey to ‘The Legend of Korra’ season 2 – in GIFs!: To celebrate SeptBender, Hypable unveiled a selection of animated GIFs which detailed most "The Legend of Korra" fans experiences leading up to the premiere of "Book Two: Spirits"!

IGN has also unveiled a exclusive interview they held with Nickelodeon Voice Actress Janet Varney, who voices 'Korra' in "The Legend of Korra". The interview was conduced in the Nickelodeon dining area to discuss Korra's long-awaited return, where the character is at as we meet up with her again, new additions to the cast this year and more, just after Varney and Dee Bradley Baker were recording pickups – adding new lines or giving different takes to scenes that had already been animated and now needed some tweaks from what was done at the original voice session many months before ("Korra" episodes are recorded in their entirety by the voice cast before they are animated) - under the direction of animation legend Andrea Romano.

Nick2Go: TBI Vision and Broadband TV News are reporting that the Swedish cable operator Com Hem has added Nickelodeon Sweden (Sverige) to its TiVoToGo service. The service makes content available to subscribers across television, computer, mobile phones and tablet devices.

Licensing.biz is reporting that a raft of new products are rolling out for classic property "Miffy", as fans get ready to celebrate its 60th anniversary in 2015. Simon and Schuster Children's Books will be updating the English translation of the "Miffy" stories - written and illustrated by Dutch graphic artist, Dick Bruna - to appeal to a modern British audience. The classic stories will be refreshed, while there will also be new novelty formats. In addition, a range of greetings cards has been launched by Hype, while Star Editions will be rolling out a line of posters, postcards, magnets and tote bags for spring. Long-term partner Rainbow Designs continues to see steady sales of its nursery plush collection, while new licensee Neviti has launched a range of party ware. Mothercare is also due to launch a range of layette items, including bodysuits and sleep suits, through baby wear partner Brecrest. DRi will also be announcing an adult fashion partner soon, which will be targeting High Street and fashion retailers. "This is a new chapter in the Miffy story and we have big plans for the brand over the next few years," said Alicia Davenport, director of DRi Licensing. The brand new "Miffy" merchandise range will also including a line of "Miffy" branded greeting cards. The animated series "Miffy and Friends" formally aired on Nick Jr. USA.

C21Media is reporting that the German broadcaster Super RTL has picked up the broadcast rights to the popular CG-animated preschool series "Peter Rabbit". A co-production between Irish studio Brown Bag Films, Penguin Books and Silvergate Media the show was commissioned by Nickelodeon in the US and the UK preschool channel CBeebies.

C21Media is also reporting that a raft of free-to-air (FTA) broadcasters in Asia and Europe have picked up the broadcast rights to Zodiak Kids' popular CGI-animated preschool series "Tickety Toc". The 52x11′ series has been picked up by PBS in Thailand, Mediacorp in Singapore, Four NZ in New Zealand, Pixel in Ukraine, MTV in Hungary and Ultra/Ultra Mini in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia. A second season of the toon, which follows the madcap exploits of a pair of twins and their friends as they race to keep a clock chiming in time, is currently in development for global broadcast partner Nickelodeon. The toon is produced by Korea's FunnyFlux Entertainment alongside Zodiak-owned UK kids' prodco The Foundation. As well as Nick Jr channels around the world, "Tickety Toc" also airs on Channel 5 in the UK, Disney Junior in Canada and Network 11 in Australia, among others.

Licensing.biz is reporting that Canadian Phase 4 film label Kaboom! Entertainment has signed an agreement with Target for dedicated retail space across all of Canada's 125 Target stores for its Treehouse Presents DVD releases. The exclusive space will feature Treehouse branding and Treehouse Presents DVD releases. The space launches on November 5th and will run for a year with Kaboom! also providing custom Movie Night packaging for the retailer. The first line to feature the exclusive Movie Night packaging will include "Octonauts", "My Big Big Friend", "Toopy & Binoo", "Chuggington", "The Berenstain Bears" and Nickelodeon/Nick Jr. USA's "Franklin & Friends". Kaboom will also create downloadable activities, recipes and games to accompany each release.

Halloween Style!: MTV Style is reporting that Nick Star Ariana Grande recently held a Halloween costume contest On 'Jimmy Kimmel Live'! A ton of her loyal followers showed up for the taping, but only three were chosen to compete for the chance to meet the Nick celebrity: The clown, the cat and the chicken. The three contestants participated in a series of mini-games that included break-dancing, trivia and karaoke, which are definitely some of the most hardest things you can do in a costume on live television. Especially when you're up against Ariana Grande. Yup, the clown and the cat got a surprise in the singing part of the competition, as it was revealed that the chicken, who showed off her falsetto skills during a verse of Grande's single, "Right There," was actually Ariana herself. Surprise! Everybody wins! The article includes a video of the competition.

GetReading.co.uk's The Movie Re-Review blog has unveiled a review of 1990's "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" movie, in which Jim Henson's Animatronics technology creates the most lifelike mutant turtles ever seen.

Where Are They Now? The Cast of Saved by the Bell: To celebrate Elizabeth Berkley hosting a tribute to "Saved by the Bell" recently on "Dancing with the Stars", based on the British TV series "Strictly Come Dancing", Digital Spy has unveiled a special article which reveals what the cast of the hit comedy series - Mark-Paul Gosselaar (Zack Morris), Mario Lopez (AC Slater), Dustin Diamond (Samuel "Screech" Powers), Lark Voorhies (Lisa Turtle), Elizabeth Berkley (Jessie Spano), Tiffani Thiessen (Kelly Kapowski), and Dennis Haskins (Mr. Belding)! Nickelodeon UK aired Saved by the Bell in the 2000's.

Nickelodeon Alumni News


Albie Hecht, the founder of Spike TV and former president of Nickelodeon Entertainment, has been named executive vice president (EVP) and general manager (GM) of HLN, reports The Wrap. Hecht begun his new job on Monday 30th September 2013. Hecht, who has also served as the CEO of Worldwide Biggies ("The Naked Brothers Band"), a digital entertainment studio, will begin the job Sept. 30. He will oversee all aspects of HLN's programming, management, and day-to-day operations, as well as HLNtv.com. He will be based in New York and report to CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker. Hecht led the transition and rebranding of the former Nashville Network to Spike TV. As creator and president of Spike, he signed the "Ultimate Fighting Championship". As president of Nickelodeon Entertainment, he oversaw the development of "SpongeBob SquarePants", "Dora the Explorer", "Blue's Clues", the live action show "All That", and Nickelodeon Movies "The Rugrats Movie", "The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie" and "Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius", which received an Oscar nomination. He also co-created Nickelodeon's "Kids Choice Awards" and "Nickelodeon GUTS" (with Alan Goodman and Fred Seibert as the founding principal and executive producer with Chauncey Street Productions (originally a division of Goodman's and Seibert's Fred/Alan in New York)). He has also worked on documentary and nonfiction projects through his non-profit Shine Global, including the Academy Awardpwinning short documentary "Inocente" as well as "War/Dance" which was nominated for an Academy Award and won an Emmy for Best Documentary. This year, he became founding director of the New Media Lab at CUNY's Macauley Honors College. On Wednesday 25th September 2013, Albie Hecht was inducted into the CableFAX 2013 Program Hall of Fame.

C21Media is reporting that US producer @Radical Media's former head of media and entertainment Robert Friedman is launching his own production outfit. Bungalow Media and Entertainment will develop, produce and distribute unscripted, scripted and branded content across television, film and digital platforms. The company already has projects in development including a documentary with Alex Gibney and a coproduction of two unscripted series with Back Roads Entertainment. It is also coproducing a Spanish-language longform comedy special with famed stand-up comedian Luis Raul, with NBTV. Bungalow's West Coast operations will be led by another veteran producer, Todd Hoffman, whose Storied Media Group will become a partner in the venture. Hoffman will continue to represent franchises including The New York Times and 60 Minutes and a talent roster that includes Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan. Prior to his time at Under African Skies producer @Radical, Friedman was president of Classic Media when it was acquired by DreamWorks Animation. He has also worked stints as head of corporate marketing for Time Warner and president of AOL Interactive Marketing and TV. He was also a member of the original development team at MTV Networks, working on MTV, VH-1, Nickelodeon and The Movie Channel. Bungalow investors include Jeff Sagansky, who sits on its board, and private equity firm Loeb Partners.

The British family and parenting website Parentdish UK has unveiled a exclusive interview with former Nickelodeon UK General Manager (GM) Paul Lindley, the founder of the popular "Ella's Kitchen" children's food brand. As part of the interview, Parentdish asks, what would he cook for the Queen? Find out here at parentdish.co.uk!

Deadline.com asks the question, Is Viacom Cannibalizing Nick Jr. And 'SpongeBob' To Help Nickelodeon?

ScreenDaily.com is reporting that the Los Angeles-based boutique sales agency Continental Media, which was founded by James Andrew Felts and Matthew Shreder, has licensed the horror film "Solo", which stars Annie Clark, who played Fiona Coyne in TeenNick's "Degrassi: The Next Generation", to UK-based distributor Kaleidoscope Entertainment. The movie will be released at cinemas in the UK during 2014.

The Licensing Letter (TLL), an independent trade publication which delivers retail sales data, news of deals, contact information, and trend analysis to owners of intellectual property, their agents, retailers, and the manufacturers who market licensed merchandise, has announced in a press release that they expect to see Nickelodeon's "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" toy line on the next list covering 2013 retail sales.

From The Archives...


Below is a article which features a autobiography of Nickelodeon and House of Anubis star Brad Kavanagh, which The White Haven News first published in July 2012, from the News & Star:
MY LIFE AND CAREER, BY YOUNG STAR BRAD KAVANAGH



Brad Kavanagh: ‘I’d like to do more in America, and I’ve got agents in London and Los Angeles working together to hopefully make that happen. But what I also like to do something at home. I am always thinking about Whitehaven whenever I’m away, and I’d love to set up an academy here to create opportunities for local kids to perform and hopefully help some local talent get a big break’

HE'S performed in front of the Queen and Michael Jackson, been nominated for awards alongside Daniel Radcliffe, Matt Smith and Robert Pattinson, and he’s even enjoyed Sunday lunch at Sir Elton John’s home. Not bad for a lad from Cleator Moor.



red [Orange] carpet: Brad with co-star Ana Mulvoy Ten from House of Anubis

Brad Kavanagh has crammed a lifetime’s worth of memorable experiences into his 19 years; rubbing shoulders with Hollywood A-listers, attending glitzy LA award ceremonies, and entertaining millions around the world on stage and screen.



bafta nominated: Brad Kavanagh with the cast at the children’s Baftas (he was nominated for a Bafta in 2010 for Best Breakthrough Talent)

And speaking to The Whitehaven News during a rare break in his filming schedule for his current project – Nickelodeon’s House of Anubis – Brad would describe his journey from Whitehaven Theatre of Youth to becoming a children’s television favourite, via a starring role in Billy Elliot on London’s West End stage, as “a bit of a mad one”.

“If you told me when I was growing up that all this would have happened to me, then there’s no way I would have believed it,” says Brad.

“There’s been so many times I’ve had to pinch myself; I’ve been so lucky. But it’s been cool at the same time.”

Originally from Cleator Moor, Brad and his family moved to Whitehaven when he was young. He would sing to himself around the house which prompted his mum to take him to singing lessons.

“I went to local teacher Mandy Norman when I was six, and she taught me all my singing basics, as well as verse-speaking, pacing, elocution.

“I was also given extra lessons by Baxter Shaw, who was a vocal genius. He gave me my passion.”

Brad competed in music festivals at Whitehaven, Workington and Carlisle from an early age, and having joined Whitehaven Theatre of Youth, he was given his first starring role in a production of Joseph at St James’ Church.

“I loved it all; singing, acting, performing. It was all I wanted to do.”

A life-changing opportunity arose for Brad when, aged only 10, he responded to a call for auditions for a new musical that was in the pipeline based on the smash hit 2000 film, Billy Elliot.

“The auditions were in Newcastle and I thought I would just go for the experience. It was the first time I had ever auditioned, so there’s no way I thought I’d get anywhere.”

He was wrong. The producers from Working Title were impressed with Brad and shortlisted him for the part of Michael, Billy’s quirky best mate.

The shortlisted kids were given six months to prepare for the final auditions and Brad, who admits to having “two left feet”, used the time to take dance classes in Penrith, alongside weekly acting and singing lessons in Leeds.

The gruelling schedule culminated in a weekend-long final audition in London.

“It was a crazy audition; we were put through some really tough routines.

“Michael, the character I was going for, is a bit of an oddball so we had to bring our own interpretations to the part. In one example, we were given a phonebook and told to do something creative with it; some jumped up and down on it, and others ran around, so I just started to go mad and tear pages from it and I threw them around the place.

“I thought it was a bit of a fluke that I had made it so far as the final audition, so I just went for it!”

After an agonising two-month wait, the casting director called Brad and offered him the role. So it was off to London, aged only 11, to begin the six-month rehearsal programme ahead of opening night.

“The young cast lived together in a house a Spitalfield, near Whitechapel, under the care of two housemothers,” says Brad. “There were nine of us – three Billys, three Michaels and three Debbies – as we’d work on rotation as there was a limit on how often we could work due to our ages.

“It was scary moving away from home at such a young age, but it made me grow up really quickly and gave me independence that others perhaps don’t get until they’re a lot older. It was a real learning curve.

“It was hard not having my mam and brother there, but I did come home during my days off.

“In rehearsals, because it was a brand new show, we had to build the show from the ground up. In that sense, you could make the part your own and bring your own character to it.

“It was good fun and you were able to improvise lines that ended up in the script. I recently saw the show to mark its seventh anniversary and it’s a great feeling to see that lines that I improvised all those years ago are still in the show today and are being performed by other young actors.”

After two months of preview shows to iron out any last-minute problems, opening night came on May 11, 2005, and Brad was chosen from the three Michaels to be in the first show at the Victoria Palace Theatre.

“It was the coolest thing ever,” recalls Brad. “There was a big red carpet and loads of celebrities came. But being backstage, you didn’t realise the impact until you saw the newspapers the following day and it was on all the front pages.”

The day after opening night, the young cast were invited for Sunday lunch to the home of Sir Elton John, who had written the music for the show.

“He was the most generous person I have ever met. He’s such a big star but didn’t act like it at all. He was so humble and wanted to thank us for bringing his music to life.”

But Sir Elton wasn’t the only famous face Brad encountered during his West End days.

“The Queen and Michael Jackson both came and saw the show, and Michael sent a note of congratulations to us backstage. But a lot of people actually came backstage to meet us, people like Matt Damon, Liz Hurley, McFly, Rolf Harris; it was all so surreal.

“One night, I saw Matt Lucas and David Walliams in the front row, and as part of the script I had to do the ‘I’m a ladiiieee’ line from Little Britain, and that night I had to say it in front of David Walliams himself. Bizarre!”

But it wasn’t all mixing with the stars. It was a gruelling schedule, admits Brad, with late nights and early mornings, school tuition in the shared house during the day, occasional rehearsals, and then performances eight times a week.

When Brad turned 14, after three-and-a-half years in the show, he felt that time had come to leave.

“They refreshed the cast every six months so you had to give six months’ notice that you wanted to leave so they could get a replacement trained up.

“My voice had dropped, so it was becoming harder and harder to sing in such a high key. Plus my GCSE exams were coming up so it was the right time to call it a day. I knew it couldn’t last forever.”

It was back to Whitehaven for Brad, and back to St Benedict’s School. Although he’d spent a year there before leaving for London, he was very much “the new kid” when he returned three years later.

“I was only 14 but I wondered what to do next...”

He immersed himself back in local theatre, but at the same time was attending auditions for film and television roles. He was one of the final two candidates for a role in a film The Talisman, to be directed by Steven Spielberg. But just before the final audition, the project was scrapped by Spielberg in favour of developing War Horse.

He was more successful however with an audition that followed for the Disney Channel and won the role of Dylan in teen comedy As The Bell Rings.

Filmed in London, Brad, then 15, combined his television work and his studies and says he will be “forever grateful” to St Benedict’s School for supporting him through this period.

He was in As The Bell Rings for its second and final series, but was retained by Disney as a recurring artist, presenting and performing for the channel on a regular basis over the next two years.

And his performances caught the eye. He was nominated for a BAFTA in 2010 for Best Breakthrough Talent, and in March this year battled Messrs Pattinson, Radcliffe and Smith for Best Actor at the prestigious Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards in LA, losing out to Twilight star Robert Pattinson.

“It was unbelievable to be nominated against names like that,” said Brad, who combined his role as a nominee with interviewing duties for Nickelodeon and spent the awards ceremony rubbing shoulders with the likes of Colin Firth, Jim Carrey, Jack Black and One Direction.

He’s in Whitehaven for a brief stay – including a show at Rosehill tomorrow (Friday) – and heads back to Liverpool afterwards for a seven-month stint to film series three of teen drama House of Anubis, where he’ll be solving mysteries as nerdy Fabian. It’ll be broadcast on Nickelodeon early next year.

So what does the future hold for Brad?

“I’d like to do more in America, and I’ve got agents in London and Los Angeles working together to hopefully make that happen.

“But what I also like to do something at home. I am always thinking about Whitehaven whenever I’m away, and I’d love to set up an academy here to create opportunities for local kids to perform and hopefully help some local talent get a big break in film or television.”

Brad will be performing at Rosehill Theatre tomorrow (Friday) alongside St Bees band Shore, plus special guests Cathy and John Marcangelo and Martin Kelly. Tickets are £12 on 01946 692422.

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