He’s one of the most recognisable faces on CBeebies and is about to embark on a brand new arena tour – see what happened when M&B met Phil Gallagher (aka Mister Maker)
Smiley, approachable and a bit of a joker, it’s easy to see why Phil Gallagher has stayed in his role of Mister Maker for seven years. While he’s not as slapstick and exaggerated as his alter ego, Phil has a real love for his day job that’s clear to see.
The popular children’s TV presenter is currently getting ready for a big musical-themed UK arena tour, this Easter, with fellow CBeebies presenters Justin Fletcher and Mr Bloom. And guess what? You can win tickets to the show.
Phil tells us about why he loves his day job as a children’s TV presenter and how it all started.
I’ve always wanted to be a kid’s television presenter. When I was a child, I would create puppet shows in my front room. I used to get all my cuddly toys and write plays or ‘entertainment shows’ as I called them then. I loved performing and putting on shows – at that time it was only for an audience of three or four – my mum and dad, my auntie and perhaps a neighbour – and I would even make the programmes.
When I was a child, I would create puppet shows in my front room.
My love for performing and kids TV never went away. I started right at the bottom of the ladder and got a work experience placement, then a runner’s job and then I very slowly worked my way up. This was brilliant for me because I learnt lots of skills behind the camera which are extremely important for me today and it helps to have lots of strings to your bow. One of my strings was that I ended up becoming a TV director and one of my last directing jobs was CBeebies where I met Justin Fletcher for the first time.
When the first series of Mister Maker was made back in 2007 no one knew what was going to happen. It was a brand new show, a brand new idea and a different take on arts and crafts as well. Normally it’s a very traditional ‘man-stands-behind-a-desk-and-demonstrates-art-techniques’ but there’s a very strong comedic line and it’s a very slapstick and visual approach. Mister Maker plays in over 200 territories around the world – it’s unbelievable. It’s amazing that it’s grown in all those places and heart-warming to see that CBeebies is enjoyed by children all over the world.
Mister Maker plays in over 200 territories around the world – it’s unbelievable.
Seven years later we’ve had almost a 150 episodes. I love it – Mister Maker is a really fun character to play. It really is second nature to play the role now because it’s pretty much a full time job for me. The thing about it that sets it apart and makes it so enjoyable is that arts and crafts is something that’s enjoyed by people all over the world and it actually doesn’t matter if you’re one or 101, everyone enjoys something being made and creativity and also it’s something really lovely that parents and children can do together.
The CBeebies Touring Show is like being part of a pre-school rock and roll concert. It’s not an easy thing really, taking the connecting that we have with our valued CBeebies audience at home – that one-to-one connection with a child who watches the channel – but also with the grown-ups as well. We want to recognise that as well. And we are literally putting that on a big stage. It’s lovely that there are lots of older children who come along to the shows who have grown up with CBeebies. My nephew’s coming along and he’s 17.