My Almost Famous Family

My Almost Famous Family is a brand new all-singing, all-dancing comedy series set to strike a chord on CBBC this September.

Singing, dancing and doing the chores – it’s all in a day’s work for the Swann family, stars of the new 11-part high-energy, musical comedy series.

By day the Swanns perform as TV pop group We’re In Perfect Harmony; by night they’re a big, blended and sometimes harmonious step-family.

When English musician Gary Swann (Andrew Clover) stepped on stage with African-American soul singer Sholandra (Rakie Ayola) in Las Vegas it was love at first verse.

Now their families have come together, moved back to the UK and landed the best gig in TV – house band on everyone’s favourite tea-time chat-show, The Totally Annabelle Show, hosted by the nation’s top teen presenter.

In front of the TV screens Annabelle is a darling and adored by all but, once the cameras stop rolling, the Swanns soon discover her real persona – she’s a nightmare!

But with five children/pop stars living, singing and schooling under one roof, viewers can expect tears, tantrums – and the occasional spontaneous musical number!

First there are Gary’s two children: 16-year-old self-styled bad boy of rock and secret softie Hadley (Angus Harrison); and 15-year-old quick-witted, musical genius Toyah (Naomi Battrick).

Then there are Sholandra’s children: 15-year-old fame hungry diva-in-the-making Aretha (Dominique Moore); and 14-year-old family joker Isaac (Matt Morgan).

Completing the family is Gary and Sholandra’s cheeky, entrepreneur in the making, eight-year-old Martha (Rachel Brady), who is deaf.

“It’s a big melodious comedy with a huge heart,” reveals series producer Paul McKenzie.

“The Swann family are almost famous but the parents are determined to keep the kids grounded – which is pretty difficult when they’ve got five million viewers watching them every week.”

My Almost Famous Family follows the very funny ups and downs of life in a big, raucous family and the craziness that comes with fame. From stolen pigs and rock star grandads to make-or-break maths tests and crazy teen TV presenters, life with the Swanns may look glamorous on the surface, but there’s a lot of frantic paddling going on underneath!

The series is a CBBC production produced by Paul McKenzie with Steven Andrew as executive producer.

Before the series begins, viewers can get an early taster in Backstage, a new series that goes behind the scenes of up-and-coming CBBC shows. Each glossy, bespoke, making-of half-hour combines key interviews from the main cast and crew, with exclusive behind-the-scenes footage and clips from the main show.

The programme introduces viewers to the story of My Almost Famous Family, setting up the main characters and exploring how the series has been made – from building the sets to creating the music and filming a food fight.

Backstage airs on Bank Holiday Monday 31 August 2009 on CBBC. My Almost Famous Family starts on Saturday 12 September on BBC Two.

The Totally Annabelle Christmas special is coming live from the Swanns’s living room. Unfortunately, Toyah’s OCD starts playing up making it difficult for her to be one of Martha’s wise men. Meanwhile, Hadley is desperate to sing his solo; Shalondra is determined to find her presents; and how exactly is Isaac supposed to play the drums with a cookie jar stuck to his hand?

Hadley and Isaac get hooked on a not very rock ‘n’ roll supermarket computer game, Supalife, while Aretha gives Toyah a make-over to attract TV heart-throb Zac MacDonald – and promptly regrets it.

When Hadley, the bad boy of rock, is mugged by girls, he wants to leave the band. It’s left to Isaac to try and help him “man up”. Aretha, meanwhile, enlists Toyah’s help to beat Annabelle to the Teen-Style Queen award.

Toyah and Aretha compete to write a song for R&B star, Monelle (Javine Hylton). Hadley, meanwhile, tries to work out why Isaac is so much more popular than him.

A small lie from Hadley sees him passing himself off as the bad boy of Harp, and all for the new love of his life. Meanwhile, Aretha is the lucrative voice of the yappy nappy puppy – unfortunately they insist she be the face of it, too.

Gary and Shalondra get locked in the recording studio spying on the kids. When Aretha breaks Toyah’s precious bow, Isaac glues it to her back! How long can the boys keep Toyah from discovering the truth and all hell breaking lose in the house?

Gary is determined not to miss Hadley’s football, or the father/son basketball with Isaac, so Shalondra devises a fridge magnet chart to keep everything to plan. Toyah, meanwhile, gets hooked on her celebrity status.

Gary and Shalondra announce a maths test. Anyone who fails is out of the band! Grandad’s arrival is a distraction for everyone, but for Isaac it’s a great way to avoid revising. But can the others stop him from being kicked out of the band?

Isaac kidnaps Annabelle’s pet pig, Pixie, while Aretha loses her hearing just as a record exec is coming to see her perform. As Toyah and Martha try helping Aretha rediscover her voice (and overcome her hearing loss) Isaac is desperate for Pixie to keep quiet before Hadley gets suspicious.

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