CBeebies: Yukee star 'bouncing around the house' after landing role

A nine-year-old girl from County Fermanagh is starring as the lead character in a new CBeebies animation.

Nina He from Newtownbutler said she was "bouncing around the house" after finding out she had been chosen to be the voice of Yukee, a show introducing young children to music.

Her character plays the ukulele and goes on adventures with musical animals in a magical garden.

After a year in the studio, Nina said it was "pretty weird" to see on screen.

Her parents Becky and Tony He said it was great to have Nina's Irish and Chinese heritage represented in the cartoon which is set in Northern Ireland.

"Obviously we're very proud of her," Mrs He told BBC News NI.

Tony and Becky He with Nina
Nina's parents Tony and Becky have supported her musical journey over the years [BBC]

"It's great to have that representation on TV, and also the Northern Irish accent.

"It's great for everybody, the diversity as well, it's just the way things are going, it's good."

Nina auditioned after her mum answered an advert on social media and sent a video of her singing.

"She's in a house full of boys, so she has to get her voice heard and her voice known about the house, so she loves singing, she loves dancing, and this is something that she wants to do," said Mrs He.

While some of Nina's brothers "don't pass any remarks" about her new role, her older brother is proud of his "famous" sister.

Nina, who plays piano and banjo as well as learning the ukulele, hopes to do more acting and voice work in the future.

'Nina's a celebrity in our school'

She has also helped to inspire classmates at St Mary's Primary School in Newtownbutler.

"It's really good. I just like that Nina is in it. She's a good celebrity in our school now," said Claire.

Kyron said he could not believe that "someone from Newtownbutler is on telly".

"I didn't think it was Nina, it sounded like some British girl," he added.

Claire and Kyron
Classmates Claire and Kyron are fans of Yukee [BBC]

Myla said: "I love the show and I love the way that Nina sings a lot in it.

"I love her character, and she's so confident, I really like it."

Anna said Yukee was "amazing".

"I love it, it's so inspiring to me and I love how it's all animals that are involved with it and Nina is in it, it's amazing."

Nina's classmates watch an episode of Yukee
Some of Nina's classmates were treated to a special musical workshop recently [BBC]

Score Draw Music, the production company which makes Yukee, recently brought an interactive musical workshop to the school.

As well as the joy of making noise with friends and its message that "music is for everyone", the show also has themes of community, friendship and cooperation at its heart.

Mark Gordon, executive producer at Score Draw Music, said: "Without resorting to cliché, when we met Nina we knew within seconds that we had found our person for the role.

"As well as having a brilliant singing voice, she brings bags of natural energy, joy and enthusiasm to every record session," he added.

"She, in many ways, feels like a physical representation of how we have written and created Yukee and through her amazing delivery of the lines, and the emotion she imparts into the episodic songs, she is the ideal person to voice this special character."

Yukee is available on CBeebies and the BBC iPlayer.