Oxford musician Nick Cope lands CBeebies show

A ‘LEGENDARY’ entertainer who has delighted Oxfordshire children for a decade has landed his own show on national television. Former rock star Nick Cope is set to star in his very own series on BBC children’s channel CBeebies. The musician and songwriter, who has lived in Oxford for more than 30 years with partner Amanda, is familiar to many families after touring schools, festivals and theatres with his songs.

The 55-year-old was the frontman of Oxford rock band The Candyskins in the 1990s, but has spent more than 10 years playing to an entirely different crowd. Staff at St Francis CE Primary School in Cowley, where he has held regular music sessions, described him as an ‘inspiring’ musician. ALSO READ: More about Nick Cope’s last album

In a newsletter to parents last Friday, headteacher Fleur Belcher said: “He is well-known to many in Oxford as the indie-surrealist kids’ entertainer who has performed his legendary children’s songs at schools, playgroups, theatres and festivals all over Oxfordshire and beyond. “We wish Nick all the best in this exciting new venture and look forward to seeing him on our television screens soon.” Mr Cope’s show is called Nick Cope’s Popcast, and will be screened as a series of five-minute episodes starting in April.

The guitar-playing father-of-three will be joined on the programme by his dog Norman, as well as his grandson. In a post on his website, Mr Cope said to his supporters that ‘dreams sometimes do come true’. He added: “I will be joined by Norman my whippet, my gorgeous grandson and a host of wonderful children in a series of five-minute episodes.

“I would like to thank each and everyone one of you for your support over the years, for buying my music, coming to the shows, sharing online and spreading the word far and wide.” He said he has been working with a digital animation company and television production company to create a ‘magical, musical, mixed media series’. Mr Cope grew up in Islip and formed indie rock band The Candyskins with his brother Mark and their friends at Kidlington’s Gosford Hill School – Nick Burton and John Halliday.

The band toured worldwide from 1989 in the midst of the Britpop movement, at around the same time that other Oxfordshire bands like Radiohead and Supergrass were climbing their way to fame. They broke up in 1998 but have reunited several times since, including for a set at Truck Festival in Steventon in 2009. Mr Cope has since built up a loyal fan base of his own, becoming one of the county’s best-known entertainers.

ALSO READ: Youths ‘distress’ elderly villagers with centuries-old prank He has released six albums packed with family-friendly folk tunes, often with amusing names like The Baby’s Done a Poo and Crazy Crazy Dinner Lady. His latest album Have You Heard About Hugh? was released in 2018, in collaboration with Oxford’s hedgehog expert Hugh Warwick.

Lyrics of the catchy title track tell the story of a hedgehog called Hugh, who gets stuck on the wrong side of the A32 while trying to get home. The real road the story refers to is the A34, but it had to be amended so the song rhymed. Mr Cope announced news of his new television show on Twitter, and said he was ‘overwhelmed’ by the feedback.

One fan on Twitter said: “Excellent news, very much deserved.

“You’re a staple in our home, in our cars and undoubtedly will be on our TV too.”

CBeebies has not yet confirmed the time or date of the initial broadcast.

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