AFTER starring in one worldwide hit children’s TV show already, Bolton actress and puppeteer Julie Matthews is hoping for more success with her latest series.
Ms Matthews, who goes by the stage name of Julie Westwood, played Bessie BusyBody in the hit children’s TV show LazyTown, which has gone on to become an international smash for youngsters.
Now, she is set to star in a new children’s television series, Mr Bloom's Nursery. The programme encourages children to learn about life through the wonder of gardening.
Ms Matthews, who lives in Heaton, plays the characters Margaret, the shy but fun cabbage and Joan, the bossy fennel.
The 26-part series was filmed over five weeks during the summer and is being broadcast on children’s channel CBeebies from this week.
It is the first new CBeebies in-house programme to be filmed in the North West, as part of Children’s BBC’s move to Manchester.
A total of 45 children from across the region were invited to take part in the filming of the series.
The former Smithills Grammar School pupil said: “The programme tries to teach children about caring for nature.
“I was part of the big talking vegetable patch inside Mr Bloom’s nursery.
“We had children who weren’t actors who came on set and interacted with us, which was great. We had some of them running around, some of them were cuddling the puppets.
“We had a couple who shouted they could see us behind. It was great fun.”
Ms Matthews has two children, Thomas, aged 25, and Nigel, aged 23, who are both former Rivington and Blackrod High School pupils.
She is a member of the Duckworth family that started jewellers Prestons of Bolton, has enjoyed a lengthy stage career, appearing at the Octagon and in various shows and pantomimes, as well as TV roles in Cracker, The Bill, Emmerdale and Coronation Street.
She learned about puppetry while auditioning, unsuccessfully, for The Muppets, but her new skill brought her a series of job offers before she won the role of Miss BusyBody in LazyTown.