Published Tuesday, 30th August 2022
By James Cowen
A whole new generation of young people are about to discover catchy songs, brightly painted buildings, and characters with an equal amount of colour as BBC iPlayer celebrates the 20th anniversary of one of the most popular children's TV shows of all time by making them available online.
Balamory, a children's TV programme on BBC One, BBC Two and CBeebies for pre-school children, is being re- released six years after it last appeared on television.
Set in Tobermory, on the Scottish Island of Mull, the show had eight central characters with each wearing a distinctive colour of clothing and living in a house of the same colour.
Credit: Paul Stephenson
One of them was Penny Pocket played by Geordie actor, producer, writer, and presenter Kim Tserkezie who now has her own production company, Scattered Pictures.
In the two decades since Balamory, Kim has won a Royal Television Society Award for best drama performance for her leading role in Obsession (BFI Network), received drama and comedy writing commissions from BBC, ITV and C4 and was named as one of the 100 most influential disabled people in the UK (Shaw Trust Power 100).
Kim reflected on her life while working on the show:
"I had the time of my life working on Balamory with a team of incredible people. I'll always be thankful to Brian Jameson who created the show, for giving me my first opportunity, as a disabled actor, to play 'a character' rather than 'a disability issue' or 'medical problem'. I know this also meant so much to disabled children who had never had such a character to identify with on screen before.
"It was a privilege to be part of such a wonderful, funny show that entertained children and their families worldwide, breaking the mould using live action and embracing inclusivity."
Penny Pocket, along with Suzie Sweet, played by Mary Riggans, help to run the Balamory village shop and cafe.
Other famous characters on the island include Miss Hoolie (Julie Wilson Nimmo), Edie McCredie (Juliet Cadzow), PC Plum (Andrew Agnew), Spencer The Painter (Rodd Christensen) and Josie Jump (Buki Akib / Kasia Haddad).
Tserkezie penned a special message to the Balamory fans, many of whom watched the show when it first came out 20 years ago.
"The Balamory fans are fantastic. Their support and dedication to the show 20 years on never ceases to amaze me. I know many have campaigned to bring the show back to the BBC screen so I'm especially happy for them to see it return to BBC iPlayer. I'm looking forward to hearing how a new generation of children react to the show.
"There will always be a special place in my heart for Penny Pocket, the turquoise velour and all!"
Balamory is now available to stream and download on BBC iPlayer.