Monday, October 27, 2008

British Paralympian to provide voice for wheelchair-using character in animated children's series

From the South Wales Echo:

Wales' most successful Paralympian is to make her animated TV debut – playing a wheelchair-bound cheetah who helps a rabbit left out of school sport.

In her first episode on children’s series Hana’s Helpline, Cardiff-born athlete Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson plays the part of Rita Cheetah, a champion wheelchair athlete who comes to the assistance of a disabled rabbit called Rhian.

The show, made by Butetown-based Calon TV, is based around an agony aunt duck called Hana. The episode, Record Breaking Rhian, will be broadcast on Five Milkshake at 6.30am on Friday. S4C is also screening the Welsh version Holi Hana.

Tanni, who retired from competitive sport last year after winning 11 Olympic gold medals and six London Marathons, said: “The way the programme handles the issue is perfect. The message is positive and it doesn’t patronise. And Ernie the eagle’s attitude that Rhian can’t do PE because she’s in a wheelchair is also common.”

Since it was first launched in April 2007, Hana’s Helpline has been watched by more than 3.4 million viewers and has won two major animation awards.