The Babyclub Parent Podcast was commissioned by CBeebies Radio to sit alongside the The Babyclub TV show, which is all about encouraging your baby to learn and explore through play. The presenters are Giovanna Fletcher and Nigel Clarke and they are joined by a group of parents and their babies on set for each episode.
Here’s a great write up from The Guardian about the show: https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2019/mar/12/the-baby-club-cbeebies-a-tv-godsend-for-frazzled-new-parents
The podcast was commissioned with a different focus: to be the place where parents can go to let off steam and chat about the realities of being a mum or dad, helped by Coronation Street actress Jennie McAlpine, as the host. It’s described on BBC Sounds as: ‘Jennie McAlpine hosts light and informative conversations with The Baby Club TV show parents – with added wisdom from a childcare expert.’
So, our aim was to develop a podcast that strikes the balance between fun, light and informative. Jennie is honest and funny about being a parent and brings some hilarious tales of being a mum to her two children Albert and Hilda. We also included the parents and children from series 1 and 2 of the TV show. Our experts joined in from the Foundation Years Trust; they’d helped in the making of the TV show and had really sound, great advice for parents listening.
We had a quick turn around on this project; from coming up with themes and scripts to recording in just a few weeks. We developed the main topics that come up in conversation when you are a new parent – sleep, feeding, using technology and going back to work, for example. I hope as listeners you feel like you’re part of the conversation. I wanted it to replicate what happens when you meet other friends with children for coffee, to ask any questions and revel in the chaos, but to have fun and break from the monotony of parenthood, as well. Features include: ‘What’s in the bag…’, looking at the stuff we haul around with us once you have kids. We also do a ‘Grown up own up…’ when things go wrong, despite your best efforts.
The podcast was recorded in a studio in Sale at the same location as the TV series. We did away with chairs and had everyone sat on the floor to make it easier to look after the children as they played with their toys. I think this replicated what it’s really like having conversations with new parents at a class. There were quite a few microphones being pulled over, lots of extra sounds to be edited out, and the days were intense.
My favourite episode is probably Sleep – just because we’ve all felt a bit broken in those early days, haven’t we?
If you’ve got children, ever want them or indeed have ever been a child, please have a listen.