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Chris Jarvis is a class act – it’s official! 

CBeebies favourite Chris, who has written as well as directing and starring in Happy Ever After the very special family Christmas show at Lighthouse, Poole’s centre for the arts, is making a series of video calls to local schools today and tomorrow. 

"Every year I visit local schools in between rehearsals for panto and I’d like to this year because young people have had a tough time of it, but we’re having to do things differently,” says Chris who will be appearing via the magic of Zoom in classrooms at Ferndown Middle, Bere Regis Primary, Kings Park Primary, Hazelbury Primary, Pamphill Junior and Atlantic Academy Portland. 

“I spend quite a lot of time in schools with BAFTA and for CBeebies and I think it’s important that young people are given something different to experience so I can talk to them about animation, or the theatre, or making things for television – although their grasp of technology is so good that some of them probably know more about it than I do! 

My mum was a head teacher and the teachers are the experts of course so I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunity to do this. I regret not reading more books when I was at school, but if someone had pointed out there's not a great difference between a novel and a script for television or radio or panto – it's all about storytelling – then I might have seen things differently." 

Angus Dawson, Assistant Principal and Faculty Director at Atlantic Academy Portland, says his students are really looking forward to seeing Chris 

We can hardly wait to meet him. After such a long period of spending time at home this year our children are super excited to meet with a celebrity from the world beyond their local area. This is a fabulous chance for our children to find out all about the fascinating world of television and broadcasting, and we are very grateful to Chris and Lighthouse.” 

Chris appears in Happy Ever After as pantomime favourite Buttons to introduce a host of well-known panto and children’s storybook characters as they help Cinderella get to her next ball. 

Appearing alongside Chris are popular CBBC presenters Naomi Wilkinson and Ed Petrie with the acting and singing talents of rising stars Harry Winchester, Lauren Azania and Jessica Rampling with Aaron Hunt from the West End production of Cats as Tommy the Cat and the dance talents of the locally based Steppin’ Out Academy. 

Happy Ever After is on sale now and runs from 18 December to 3 January. For tickets and information visit www.lighthousepoole.co.uk. 

Published 1 December 2020