Children’s television presenter Jen Pringle discusses fame, embarrassing moments and Ant and Dec with Amie Mulderrig ahead of her performance in Milkshake! Live on Stage! at the Beck Theatre.
Where are you at the moment?
I’m currently at rehearsals for Milkshake! Live on Stage! There are so many dance routines to learn, but it’s going really well so far. Derek Moran, a fellow presenter, who is choreographing and directing the show, is certainly putting us through our paces!
Why did you decide to become a children’s television presenter?
I have always loved performing! I’ve danced since the age of three, so the idea of entertaining children whilst doing my favourite hobby, is a dream come true for me!
Do you prefer performing live on stage or on television?
I absolutely love both. Being on stage is amazing as you receive such a buzz from a live audience, but also being on live national television is also incredibly exciting as anything can happen!
What’s the most embarrassing thing to happen to you during your live performance/live television show?
Once when I was live on TV, I was about to do my signature dance routine, Jen’s Jolly Body Jig, and the music system crashed. I had two and a half minutes to fill which is a long time when you haven’t planned an alternative! Luckily I had plenty of emails and birthday cards on standby!
Do you ever get recognised in the street? How do you feel about that?
I very rarely get recognised as the children think I live in their television! But sometimes parents recognise me and they are always so appreciative of what we do and grateful for keeping their children entertained every morning!
Who was your favourite television presenter when you were growing up?
It has to be Ant and Dec! They were always (and still are!) so bubbly and looked like they were having the time of their lives. They were so much fun to watch and always made me giggle. They were my inspiration. I actually based my dissertation on them at university!
How do you think children’s television has changed in the past ten years?
I think it’s even better now! It’s so much more colourful, the animations are so incredibly detailed, and the humour is funnier than ever before, which means that parents enjoy watching the programmes with their children too!
Do you think children’s television shows have a duty to be educational?
To a certain degree yes, but I also think that if it’s not fun, then children switch off. I think most Milkshake programmes promote good morals without being patronising.
How do you prepare for the theatre show?
I get an early night and eat a good hearty breakfast! There’s a lot of dancing in our new show, so I need as much energy as possible! I also try to drink lots of water so that I’m well hydrated.
What can we expect from the show at the Beck Theatre?
Milkshake! Live on Stage! is the most exciting show we have ever done! We have more characters than ever before, more singing and dancing, and it’s a great day out for the whole family! I guarantee that everyone will be up on their feet joining in with us! There are brand new songs, songs the children will recognise from the TV, and there are some classic pop songs that the grown ups will love to sing along to too!
What’s the difference between the theatre show and the television show?
On TV, the children’s favourite characters are on a screen. At the theatre show, lots of their favourite characters are right in front of them on one stage! No other show has quite as many brands as we do! The audiences can see two of their favourite presenters, as well as Noddy and Tessie, Pip from Pip Ahoy, Little Princess, Bananas in Pyjamas, Chloe from Chloe’s Closet, Tommy and Tallulah from Tickety Toc, Bello from Jelly Jamm, Toby and Dolores from Toby’s Travelling Circus, plus our very own Milkshake monkey! It’s going to be boptastic!
Milkshake! Live on Stage! is at The Beck Theatre, Grange Road, Hayes on Friday, August 8. Details: 020 8561 8371, becktheatre.org.uk