Grafton's king of the kids
KNOWN to countless children around Australia as Dirtgirl's resourceful friend Scrapboy on the hit ABC children's show dirtgirlworld, former-Graftonian Michael Balk has now landed himself a role on a new children's program.
The program, called Wurrawhy, will screen on Channel 10 and aims to introduce preschool age children to the world of technology.
“The basic premise of the show is the five questions – who, what, when, where and why – so we go and discover the answers to all sorts of things throughout the show,” Mr Balk said.
“The characters are Wubbleyoo, the mouse character I play who is a computer mouse that has come to life; Lauren, who is his best friend, she's a human character in the show, and; KB the cat, she's essentially the computer character.
“It introduces computer literacy in a really basic way for the two- to five-year-old age group and it's pretty cool because we've got the use of video packages, photo montages as well as graphics.
“So essentially, it's a half-hour episode about a particular subject, which varies from day-to-day and we duck off on all sorts of fun adventures.”
Mr Balk said the show introduces children to the concept of the computer being a valuable tool for learning and said a key part of the show was promoting a high standard of language skills and grammar.
He also said it was exciting as an actor to work on a show aimed at a similar age group and audience to dirtgirlworld, but exploring a totally different aspect of the world.
Mr Balk, who has also appeared in Bluewater High and Bindi the Jungle Girl, said he loved being involved in children's programs.
“As an actor, particularly working on children's television, one of the great things is the sense of play which is completely necessary for good children's television and that's great; going to work is essentially time to have fun so I love that. That's a real blessing,” he said.
“I also love the opportunity to affect the next generation; as with dirtgirlworld, it's such an important story to tell for three- to five-year-olds because they are the next age of gardeners and earthlings that are all going to live on the planet.
“Having this show go to air for preschoolers is important because it actually will affect the next generation of Australian viewers and that's a pretty important thing to do, to have a good influence on young ones, so that's exciting too, it's a huge responsibility.”
Catch Wurrawhy on Channel 10 from 8.30am, Monday to Friday.