Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Channel five: City of Friends‏

I am pleased there is now another show for my son to watch that gently teaches him life skills whilst happily watching TV. He always imaginary role plays rescues so this is exactly what he enjoys. 

City of Friends is the beautifully animated pre-school TV show that’s turned into something of a global phenomenon. Originally from Norway, City of Friends is now airing in more than 150 countries around the world!

Currently on Channel Five’s Milkshake! the series centres around the three emergency teams – Police, Ambulance and Fire – and the three friends, Max the police officer, Elphie the fire officer and Ted the paramedic who work together to solve problems and help people around their city.

Max is everyone’s friend and the city’s mischief-maker. The children in the city think he is the coolest and the funniest in the whole city. Elphie is a bubbly and adventure-loving elephant. Her impressive trunk and its water-shooting abilities make her a natural fire-fighter. Ted the caring young teddybear, is starting his life in the ambulance service. He’s very popular and offers great comfort to people in need, providing reassurance with his cuddly warmth.

Cooperation, friendship, tolerance, knowledge, activity and fun are the key words which apply to the residents in the City. The series sparks the imagination with exciting, playful storylines which are entertaining and teach very gentle, but valuable life-lessons along the way.

City of Friends trailer

The inspiration for the stories came from creator Carl Christian Hamre’s own day job working as a member of Norway’s state police. “One evening I told my son a bedtime story about the three emergency services; how they work together to solve the challenges and problems they are called out to. However, this time, I replaced myself and my colleagues, with people and animals in the emergency services, and City of Friends was born.”

City of Friends airs weekdays on Channel Five’s Milkshake! at 6.20am every day (little earlier than when my tv is switched on, so I set my sky box to record it so it can be viewed at our leisure). To see the rest of the characters and some clips head over to the City of Friends website http://cityoffriends.tv/ and the Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/CityofFriendstv to find out more information. 
Judging by the latest viewing stats, the global phenomenon that is City of Friends looks set to continue! Often noted for the way it teaches kids gentle life-lessons, the animated pre-school show, which is currently on Channel 5’s Milkshake in the UK, is now airing in more than 150 countries around the world and in the UK, City of Friends has already reached more than 1.3 million viewers.

We’ve been fortunate enough to get an exclusive interview with the main characters of the show, Max the police officer, Elphie the fire officer and Ted the paramedic!

Q&A with characters of City of Friends
Hello Max, Elphie and Ted, thanks for taking time to talk with us, how are you all today?

We´re all quite tired at the moment as Jump’s had some days off from school and has kept us very busy!

Max, you’re the police officer, Elphie you’re the fire officer and Ted you’re the paramedic – what made you want to work in the emergency services?

Max: Keeping the city nice and safe – and the joy of scooting around on my own emergency vehicle of course! With sirens and flashing lights I am unstoppable! I love my Scooter!

Elphie: with a trunk as big as this, I had to find something useful for it! My trunk is great and perfectly made for my job as a fire fighter or helping Jumpi down from high trees and buildings!

Ted: my daddy is a police officer, so I wanted to do something different – but still be able to help people and drive around with sirens and flashing lights! So becoming a paramedic and driving around in my ambulance is perfect for me!

And what’s the best part of your job?

All three in unison: Helping people!
Max: With sirens, of course!

What advice would you give to someone who wants to join the emergency services?

Ted: Be nice to others – and you will have to love to help others as well! I think that goes for all emergency services.

Elphie: Yes – and you will have to face fear, and still be able to think clear! So be brave!

Max: And if you want to catch thieves, you will have to run fast! Just as I do! Whoo-hooo!

What’s the best thing about living in City of Friends?

Max: Well, it has the best friends around – all in one city! And there is always something going on here, so we have enough to take care of!

Ted & Elphie: Thanks to Jumpi!

Max questions
Max you’re everyone’s friend and the city’s mischief-maker. The children in the city think you’re the coolest and the funniest in the whole city. How does that feel?

Oh, well it comes quite natural to me I must say! And I love it!

How did you become a police officer?

Well, I believe Bobby (City of Friends Chief of Police) saw my talent and hired me at once!

Really?

No, not really! I have dreamt about this since I was 4 years old, and been asking so many times for Bobby and his team to take me on as a recruit! I think I was here with my application every day for two years! And now they have taken me on – and I will prove they made the right decision!

We love your police scooter, what’s that like to ride?

It´s just lovely! And fast! And cool! So all in all – it´s just like me! We are the perfect match for each other!

Elphie questions
Elphie you’re a bubbly and adventure-loving elephant. Your impressive trunk and its water-shooting abilities make you a natural fire-fighter. What’s the best part of working in the fire service?

Even though I just love it when we go out in the countryside to pick apples from my cheery-picker on the fire engine, the best part is when you feel you’ve made a difference to someone – and have given them a helping hand! Or should I say trunk?! And one more thing, if you have the time, when Frankie drives fast through the streets of City of Friends and the wind blows in my big, big elephant ears – it´s just lovely!

And how does it feel to be the world’s first fire fighting elephant?!

Just fantastic! If you have any elephant readers, I must encourage them to try to follow in my (big) footsteps! But they must remember, it could be dangerous fighting fires but it´s the best!

Ted questions
Ted you’re the caring young teddy bear and have just started your life in the ambulance service. Why did you want to work as a paramedic?

I wanted to help others! This is the perfect job for that, even though most of the time I’m helping Jumpi! But sometimes we help others as well!

Ted, you’re very popular and offer great comfort to people in need, providing reassurance with your cuddly warmth. What makes you so caring?

I am a teddy bear – I am just made for that, don´t you think? As a proud member of The TBA (Teddy Bear Association) I must encourage other teddy bears to try this – we are made to comfort people, especially youngsters!

And here’s a clip of the main characters from City of Friends
Embed

City of Friends airs weekdays on Channel 5’s Milkshake at 6.20am, Saturdays at 6.15am and Sundays at 6.25am or visit www.cityoffriends.com and the Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/CityofFriendstv to find out more information. 


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