Paddy and Christine McGuinness star as cartoons to teach children about autism

Paddy and Christine McGuinness are teaming up with Jason Manford to voice characters on cartoon Daisy and Ollie – to help raise awareness of autism. 

The Channel 5 series, which is aimed at pre-school children, will air a special episode on 2 April, World Autism Awareness Day, to help teach children how to befriend those who are autistic. 

In the episode, How Do I Make Friends With Theo, Daisy is seen introducing Ollie to her cousin Theo, who finds it hard to adjust to him. 

Paddy and Christine will play Theo’s mummy and daddy, who help Ollie understand why Theo finds things difficult and how his autism means they understand things differently. 

The series’ voice cast is fronted by Jason Manford, who also writes and produces the show, and the team worked with the National Autism Society to make sure the portrayal is sensitive and accurate. 

Speaking about her role, Christine said: ‘As parents to three autistic children, we know how important it is for other children and families to understand autism, so voicing Theo’s parents in the show was a wonderful opportunity for us to share this important message.’

‘We will continue to spread awareness and help change society for our own little superstars and autistic people and their families,’ she added.

Paddy and Christine have three children – twins Leo and Penelope, 6, and Felicity, 4 – who all have autism, and have been strong advocates for autism awareness. 

Christine has appeared on Loose Women to discuss the early signs of autism, which started in Felicity at just six months old.  

‘I understand it more now,’ Christine said. ‘The first time around with the twins it was quite a big shock, we were heartbroken. We didn’t know much about autism.’

She stressed: ‘Knowledge is power when it comes to autism, it just prepared us. We knew it was coming, we saw the signs.’

This has also come with new challenges lately as she’s had to explain the coronavirus lockdown to them, and what that means as a family going forward.

Daisy and Ollie will air 2nd April on Channel 5’s Milkshake.

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