Channel 5's Milkshake is looking to whip up audiences this Easter with the launch of two new shows and a program of short-form digital content serving the healthier family lifestyle trend.
Starting Monday April 2nd, Milkshake! Monkey Bananas About Food will explore where food comes from, alongside CG animated show, Shane the Chef (voiced by Being Human's Russell Tovey) which will bring heartwarming foodie adventures to screens.
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 a wide percentage of children don't know where basic foods come from, highlighting the need for greater education on the subject.
“With nearly one in ten children already obese by age five, steps to encourage a healthier relationship with food in the pre-school years are urgently needed," said Dr. Frankie Philips from The British Nutrition Foundation.
"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, Russell 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.”
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.
“Shane the Chef is a delicious mix of colourful characters," commented Alison Bakunowich, senior vice president and general manager for Nickelodeon UK and Milkshake. "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 added: “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.”