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Dagenham girl wins BAFTA for role in CBeebies animation

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A Dagenham girl who stars in a CBeebies cartoon series has won a BAFTA.

Taiya Samuel received the Young Performer award for her role in JoJo & Gran Gran.

She voices JoJo in the show, which airs on CBeebies and tells the adventures of the four-year-old with her grandmother.

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Taiya’s mum Charlene said she screamed and cried with joy when her daughter, whose twin sister Tyiana also acts, was revealed as an award winner at a central London ceremony on November 27.

Taiya was “so surprised and overjoyed” to win, she added. 

“Taiya loves being in JoJo & Gran Gran. She has the best team and she is honoured to be part of a groundbreaking award-winning show.”

The characters were created by writer Laura Henry-Allain and it is reportedly the first animation on CBeebies to focus on a Black British family.

Charlene said Taiya is now famous at school, adding: “She says that pupils keep coming up.to her to congratulate and ask for autographs and selfies.”

After being presented with the award, Taiya thanked her family and said she was wearing green in tribute to her great grandmother who had recently died.

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Her accolade was part of the Children and Young People’s BAFTAs, which celebrate UK and international content for youngsters across film, television and games.

Faraz Osman, chair of the BAFTA children and young people committee, said: “Content for children and young people is an ever-precious jewel in our industry’s crown.

“It offers and inspires the best in creativity for kids and teens, launches countless careers of incredible talent, while also giving parents and carers trusted resources and valuable respite.

“It is a real joy to bring together the industry and celebrate the creativity and craft behind its recent output, especially after the pandemic, where children’s programming played a monumental role in family support.”

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