“Sa ka fet!” The beautiful Caribbean Island of Saint Lucia extends a warm Creole welcome to JoJo, Gran Gran, Mummy, Daddy and Panda in a special episode of the ground-breaking, animated pre-school series, JoJo & Gran Gran.
Celebrating Gran Gran’s Saint Lucian heritage and featuring the voices of Cathy Tyson (Gran Gran), Tameka Empson (Mummy), Ben Bailey Smith (Daddy), Floella Benjamin (Mrs Alfred) and BAFTA-winning Taiya Samuel (JoJo), this extended episode sees the family arrive in Saint Lucia to see Great Gran Gran receive a special medal of honour from Mayor Paul (Rudolph Walker).
JoJo & Gran Gran is produced for CBeebies by BBC Studios Kids & Family Productions, in association with our team at A Productions and inspired by characters created by Laura Henry-Allain.
A special screening of It’s Time to Visit Saint Lucia, which is set to air on CBeebies on Sunday 12th February, was hosted by BBC Studios Kids & Family in collaboration with the St Lucia High Commission, at the Curzon Cinema in London’s Soho. Compered by Joanna Adeyinka-Burford and attended by celebrities and cast members, the event saw guests taste Creole food and enjoy a performance from a Saint Lucian dance troupe. Children were entertained with JoJo & Gran Gran themed activities while face-painters were on hand to spread some colourful cheer.
Ros Attille, Head of Preschool Development BBC Studios Kids & Family, said: “Family and heritage are central to the premise of JoJo & Gran Gran and we are proud to have produced this special episode to explore Gran Gran’s Saint Lucian roots. We are thrilled that so many families and children have joined us to enjoy a warm St Lucian welcome on this cold February day.”
Ben Halliwell, Series Director of JoJo & Gran Gran at A Productions, said: “We always look to highlight JoJo and Gran Gran’s St Lucian heritage in the London-based episodes, so to be able to take JoJo to the island for her first visit was truly special. The extended episode length allowed for a more detailed and involved story, full of drama and emotion. The whole team worked very hard to bring the special to life and we are all very proud of it. We hope youngsters enjoy exploring St Lucia with JoJo and Gran Gran!”
Comfort Arthur, Assistant Director of JoJo & Gran Gran at A Productions, said: “Last Saturday was a chance to celebrate the amazing achievement of the whole crew in bringing St Lucian heritage and culture to life in this special episode. The reactions of the kids in the auditorium were touching and heartwarming. We are very happy to be part of a project that showcases the importance of representation and community.”
Tameka Empson said: “The episode was amazing I was actually quite emotional. The whole journey of going to see Great Gran Gran is something that I relate to. My parents are from Jamaica but it was equally touching to see the Caribbean on the big screen. I absolutely loved today – it’s like I have actually been to Saint Lucia.”
As well as some of the A Productions team attending the London event, we hosted our own in-studio screening, complete with tasty, traditional cuisine!