The celebrities and their children appear in YouTube videos promoting the Reading with Little Friends campaign to celebrate the storytelling magic of Thomas & Friends.
Celebrity dads, singer and musician Harry Judd and reality TV star Greg Shepherd, have teamed up with their children for a new Thomas & Friends campaign, Reading with Little Friends, which celebrates the world-famous children’s brand and showcases new toys and characters from the books and TV show.
In videos recorded at their family homes earlier this month that have today gone live on the Thomas & Friends YouTube channel, Harry’s children, Lola, 5, and Kit, 4, as well as Greg’s two kids, Nelly, 8, and four-year-old Arthur snuggle onto the sofa with their dads for family reading time. Lola reads aloud from the story book Thomas and the Rocket to Kit and her dad, while Nelly reads Thomas and Percy’s Spooky Adventure to Arthur and Greg.
The videos are designed to highlight the exciting and captivating tales featuring important life lessons for children that have remained at the heart of Thomas & Friends for over 75 years since the first Railway Series book written by Reverend W. Awdry was published in 1945. Thomas & Friends recently underwent a major revamp to appeal to contemporary audiences’ sensibilities while maintaining Thomas’ core message about the value of friendship.
The current Thomas & Friends TV series, All Engines Go, which airs around the world and in the UK on Channel 5 Milkshake!, reimagines the classic Thomas & Friends with a new storytelling approach and vibrant 2D animation. Integrated into the brand’s content are 26 different social-emotional, cognitive, and physical life lessons such as friendship, taking turns, teamwork, self-help and empathy.
McFly band member Harry Judd said: “I’ve always been a fan of Thomas & Friends and really love how the stories are fun as well as teaching morals about being kind, helpful and working as a team – all things I’m constantly trying to teach the kids.”
Greg Shepherd, who appears with Nelly and Arthur and his wife Billie in ITV’s popular reality show The Family Diaries, said: “The kids are massively into to Thomas & Friends, and I was when I was a kid, now we can enjoy it together. I love that they are going through the same process as me – watching the TV show, reading the books and enjoying the toys.
To launch Reading with Little Friends, Thomas & Friends brand commissioned a survey of 1,000 parents of young children to find the life lessons they most want to pass on to their kids and which key attributes they’d most like their youngsters to develop as they grow up – with honesty, good manners and self-confidence coming out on top. The research also revealed the words of wisdom mums and dads would want to impart on their little ones including “treat people as you’d want to be treated”.
A huge 89% of parent questioned acknowledge the importance of reading stories to their children, sitting down for story time more than four times a week, on average.
The videos can be seen on the UK Thomas & Friends YouTube channel