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Wednesday, December 12, 2012
A Norwich mum and dad are about to launch their own television channel after their education programmes became an international success.
Two years ago, Jezz Wright and his wife Julianne Martin produced Jack and Holly’s Christmas Countdown, a 70-minute animated film which followed the story of two best friends as they discovered the concept of Christmas.
At the time, it was the first in a series of DVDs which followed the youngsters as they learn about key moments in life.
But since then, the DVDs have become a huge hit in America and have led to the couple launching their own Jack and Holly Channel.
Now, they are about to launch the channel in the UK.
The channel, which will be launched this Friday, will be available to anyone with a Roku TV Box/Smart TV.
Mr Wright, 44, who lives with his wife and their two children Cillian and Beth in Earlham Road, said: “The channel is about brand awareness and how we stop being a grain of sand in a desert in an already crowded market.
“And it’s been going down a storm, it’s been brilliant. The Americans love it, despite the fact that it’s quintessentially English and quite East Anglian.
“We hope it will be successful here in the UK, although we know it’s never going to be easy, there just isn’t the investment in children’s television here.”
The couple first came up with the idea for Jack and Holly after they were dissatisfied with products already on the market.
There are now more Jack and Holly stories in the series, including Jack and Holly’s Cosmic Stories, where they discover the concept of the universe. And within the Jack and Holly channel, there is a choice of the Christmas channel, the intergalactic channel and the social media channel.
The stories are designed for pre-school children and each episode is no more than 15 minutes long in a bid to encourage parent and toddler to interact with one another.
Jack’s voice is done by Mr Wright and Ms Martin’s son Cillian while Emilia Shuardson-Hipkin does the voice for Holly. The animations are drawn by Graham Jones.
Ms Martin, 35, said: “It harks back to old-school, traditional values in terms of children’s TV. It’s not E-numbers for the eyes, it’s genuine educational material.”
The couple currently operate on a not-for-profit bases, donating any monies to children’s hospices across the UK.
British viewers will be able to access the Jack and Holly Channel for free by using the access code jackandholly. Using the Roku box or Smart TV, they will be able to stream the channel on demand.
For more information about Jack and Holly, go to www.jackandholly.com.