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We’re delighted to announce that our charity has worked on a new episode of hit children’s animation series Daisy & Ollie, which aired on World Autism Awareness Day (2 April), on Channel 5’s Milkshake! You can now watch the episode on catch up at my5.

‘How do I make friends with Theo?’ features a new autistic character called Theo and his parents, voiced by National Autistic Society ambassadors Christine and Paddy McGuinness.

In the episode, Daisy’s Uncle Tommy (Paddy McGuinness) brings his son Theo to an Autism Hour at the aquarium for a fun day out with Daisy, Ollie and Daisy’s Daddy, voiced by comedian Jason Manford. Theo is reluctant to make friends with Ollie immediately, but the family soon help him understand why. Together they all enjoy learning about the aquarium species and celebrate how being different makes them all very special.

Christine McGuinness, said: “It was amazing for Paddy and I to be asked by Jason Manford to be part of this very special autism themed episode of Daisy & Ollie and introducing the new character, Theo.”

“As parents to three autistic children, we know how important it is for other children and families to understand autism, so voicing Theo’s parents in the show was a wonderful opportunity for us to share this important message. We will continue to spread awareness and help change society for our own little superstars and autistic people and their families.”

“From voice recording to being part of the character design, the whole process has been a brilliant experience and I can’t wait to watch it with the whole family on World Autism Awareness Day.”

Jane Harris, Director of External Affairs at the National autistic Society, said: “We are so excited for this special episode of Daisy & Ollie, airing on World Autism Awareness Day – it’s an amazing opportunity for younger children to learn more about autism.”

“It has been fantastic to work with Jason Manford and the team at Daisy & Ollie, helping to develop the script and to ensure the character of Theo is as authentic as possible. Channel 5’s hugely popular Milkshake! programming block is an ideal platform, and Theo’s story will get young children and their parents talking about autism at home.”

Helen Brown, Company Director of Hoopla Animation & Executive Producer on Daisy & Ollie, said: "We are absolutely thrilled to have Paddy and Christine McGuinness guest starring in this very special episode produced in partnership with the National Autistic Society, which helps to explain autism, celebrate difference and promote understanding to a younger audience.”

On the new series, Jason Manford, Comedian and Executive Producer of Daisy & Ollie, said: “I am absolutely over the moon that Daisy & Ollie is coming to Milkshake! with a brand new series. The show is such a pleasure to work on, especially as a parent myself, we all have brilliant fun figuring out the answers to life’s biggest questions and the new set of episodes are bound to keep the whole family entertained.

The episode was broadcast at 7:10am on Thursday 2 April, World Autism Awareness Day, on Milkshake, Channel 5 – and so many of you tuned in already - but if you missed it you can see it on My5 catch up service.

Love the episode? Let us know on social media using the hashtag #AutismAwarenessWeek.

Make sure you sign up to get our free learning resources, developed in line with the National Curriculum and sponsored by education recruitment consultants, Axcis – our early years activities are themed around the Daisy & Ollie episode so perfect for using with the kids after watching!

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