The return of Tracy Beaker caused a national frenzy with social media going wild after a teaser clip was released online. The clip showed Tracy Beaker and her long-time nemesis, Justine Littlewood, in what seemed a tense scene seeing each other for the first in nearly 20 years.
Tracy Beaker for many has a special place in their heats, as for those in the early 2000’s it was their childhood. The series broke records when it reached 2.1 million viewers, with 800,000 people watching live when the series aired.
Excitingly we got to catch up with Dani Harmer to discuss all things Tracy Beaker and the important LGBT+ representation seen.
I can personally tell you how nostalgic watching My Mum Tracy Beaker was, but how was the experience for you?
“It was crazy, I was just super excited to bring the character back, to be honest. It had been quite a long time, I think it had been 10 years since I last played Tracy. This time it just felt completely new, it felt like we were doing a different programme.
But also from reading the script, it just felt really grown up, which was perfect really because we knew some of the audience weren’t going to be children anymore.
It was really nice to see Tracy at a different stage of her life, it was good fun.”
I remember seeing the trailer of yourself and Monatanna Thomspon (aka Justine Littlewood) and thinking… WHAT!? Were you expecting such a big response online?
I was kind of thinking it was going to go, either way, people were going to be super excited and it was just going to go absolutely mental or people are going to go ‘ah god, not her again, why is she coming back? We don’t care’.
Thank goodness it was the first one, but it has been beyond anything I could ever imagine, the viewing figures are through the roof. Thank you guys for watching!
I think the viewing numbers are at 2.1 million, how does that feel knowing that many people have watched you?
“Yeah, it’s pretty overwhelming if I think about it. It’s now the most successful CBBC show, in the history of CBBC so, that’s pretty cool.
I think we had something ridiculous like over 800,000 thousand people all watching live on the actual channel.
I was like oh my goddess, I’m so happy. Yeah, it was so nice that people sat down, got all comfy, pretending they were a child again or grabbed their own children and made them watched it.”
How important was it to you for Cam to have her happy ending with another woman?
“I think that’s been one of the most important things that have come out of this because the character was written as a lesbian, she’s always been a lesbian.
So the fact she finally got to be her true self is just so rewarding and the response to it has just been so lovely, it has just been brilliant.
It’s super important and you know, she should have been a lesbian the entire time and I don’t understand to this day why someone made that decision to marry her off to a bloke.
For me, it’s been 20 years in the making and the fact we finally got to see it, with a fabulous wedding and it was just so lovely and bright.
When I read it I was like “YES EMMA, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR WRITING THIS AT LAST”
Everyone should feel represented on TV it’s something that’s been such a struggle for so many people. We’re nowhere near where we should be, but thank goddess we’re taking these cool steps especially on kid tv.
We didn’t tackle any of those issues back then, but I hope this made up for it now.”
What has been your favourite response to that storyline?
“I think it’s just been hearing from loads of different people and walks of life and how it’s touched them., just the pure joy of being represented on TV.
I’ve heard from quite a lot of older women as well, that well I didn’t actually come out well into my 40s so I relate to cam, maybe she wanted to wait a little bit.
So yeah, it’s been such a lovely positive response.”
Why do you think after all this time, why is Tracy beaker such a huge part of people’s lives still?
“The reason people rush back is that this has been one of the worst years of all of our lives and has been so strange,
What better than a bit of nostalgia, I have been doing the exact same thing, so I totally get that warm and toasty feeling that you get from watching programmes that remind you of being a kid.
But also I think Tracy as a character, just resonates with so many different people because shes really fierce and a strong female lead.
When I was growing up on TV it was very male orientated, we had the Chuckle Brothers, who I adore, but that’s the kind of thing I grew up watching.
So, we didn’t really have any strong female characters. So when Tracy came on TV everyone was like ‘Oh okay, she’s not just only a girl but she’s a fierce girl who knows what she wants and isn’t afraid to say it’ and I think that was really refreshing for people.
I think that’s why she’s sort of stood the test of time really, yes she was a bit fierce, but you could also tell she had a heart of gold underneath there and that’s what we all want really.
She was the polar opposite to me to be honest, so that’s why I loved playing her, I’m no wallflower, but to be able to play a character that’s so strong and said what she thought was like oh wow okay, she’s given me my own confidence.
It’s taken me quite a while, but to speak on issues I don’t or do agree with. I think that some of that comes from Tracy as a character, it’s kind of rubbed off me.”
We recommend giving My Mum Tracy Beaker a watch, defiantly if you’re looking for nostalgia. You can catch the series on CBBC via the BBC iplayer app.