When Louise from @rockbabyworld emailed me to see if I would like to interview Justin, how could I say no?
So today (Tuesday 6th March) I followed Richard Bacon on Radio 5 Live and interviewed the great man himself:
"Let me begin by saying thank you for entertaining my children for the last 10 years on shows like Tikkabilla and Tweenies
Thank you, I actually started out on kids TV 17 years ago on a Saturday morning show called Fun Song Factory singing children's songs, many of which are on the album Hands Up
What made you want to bring out an album now?
I do a lot of family festivals and large events such as Camp Bestival which attract huge audiences and I base my show around the songs. It is wonderful to see a sea of people, especially the mums and dads joining in with the children singing and dancing.
How did you decide which songs to include?
We talked to hundreds of children about what songs they loved to dance to. I wanted an album that would get children and adults alike up and dancing, doing the actions. We added a disco beat and great backing music too
Which is your favourite song from the album Hands Up?
It has to be the single Hands Up. It was written by me and I always finish my shows with that song as it always gets the biggest reaction from the audience.
Are you going on tour?
I am doing the CBeebies tour with a number of CBeebies favourites including Katy Ashworth, Andy Day, PC Plum, Robbie Rotten, Mike the Knight and many more. We will feature most of the songs from the album
We love your TV shows too in our family. What was the inspiration behind Justin's House?
I loved Crackajack and Noels House Party and wanted to do something similar for the Under 5's. I love playing to a live audience and I think having the audience really makes the show. Little Monster is a particular favourite as she gets the children shouting!
So, are there any similarities between Justin's House and the real Justin's House
Yes - I'm a big kid. I collect theatre props, vehicles etc. I own 4 Bumper Cars!
Is there going to be a new series of Justin's House?
Yes, I am excited to announce that it has just been commissioned for another 25 episodes!
My children loves Gigglebiz too, in fact it is funnier than most adult comedy shows. Where do you get your influence for characters?
I love sketch shows and I wanted to make a pre-school Fast Show. Some of the characters are over 15 years old!
Which one do you enjoy playing the most?
Everyone asks that! I can't answer - Gail Force, Deena Lady, Arthur Sleep.............
Ok, so which one are you most like in real life?
Professor Muddles without a doubt as I am so clumsy!
Something Special is probably one of my favourites as I adore Mr Tumble and have always been surprised at how quickly my children pick up the signing. Will there be a new series of that?
Yes - we have also been commissioned for another series of 25 episodes. I love going out and about to schools and meeting the children. I am always surprised at how quickly they pick up the signing too.
I think it makes a real difference to children with special needs
There is no other show like it. It is the only CBeebies show in the schedule that never moves from its 9.45am slot. Teaching Makaton is wonderful and it really helps children who have no other way of communicating.
I have to ask, will there be any new additions to the Tumble family?
Yes, we have a brain storming session in about three weeks
Can I make a suggestion for a 00Tumble - Super Spy?
HaHa, I have heard that mentioned before - I shall write it in my diary. Secret Agent Tumble!
We saw you filming Mr Tumble's Day Out in Bournemouth, was it fun to film?
Yes, it was a beautiful day and we really enjoyed ourselves. We have to keep where we are filming quite quiet as if children see Mr Tumble they all want to come and say Hello!"
Sadly I ran out of time for more questions, but can honestly say that Justin Fletcher obviously enjoys making children's TV and has no plans to stop. He is genuine and honest and was really lovely to chat too - I had no reason to be nervous.
Justin was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2008 Birthday Honours for services to "children's broadcasting and the voluntary sector" and has won two Childrens BAFTA awards in 2008 and 2010.
So what is my opinion of Hands Up the album?
Suffice to say that I love it!
The title single Hand Up just makes you want to get up and dance. It has really catchy tune and has easy lyrics for the little ones to learn. I guarantee that if you are not up and dancing that your foot will be tapping along to the beat - you just can't help yourself!
The rest of the album continues along the same theme, but with those nursery rhymes that we all grew up with and know and love. They just have that special Justin treatment. Included on the album are The Hokey Cokey, Music Man, The Sun has gor his Hat On, Nellie The Elephant and many more! The album finishes with Justin's Lullaby, a really lovely way to wind down after all that excitement and dancing.
If you are trying to lose that baby weight, or just have gained a few extra pounds over Christmas, check out the Stay at Home PT's blog here for a great work out that you can do with the kids to the album. I know I have been struggling to get on the Wii Fit without interuption so I shall be doing this for sure!
Justins album Hands Up is available in most supermarkets, Amazon and iTunes. You can follow the great man himself on twitter @_justinfletcher and facebook plus find updates on his website about his special appearances.
Update dated 9th March 2012 - Justin is out selling the likes of Jessie J, Noel Gallagher, One Direction and Bruno Mars - Lets get him to No:1!!
For tickets to the CBeebies Live Tour see here http://www.cbeebieslive.com/ and look at this pretty good comp I am running too: http://mumto5-chelseamamma.blogspot.com/p/competitions.html