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Nannas and Poppas move in on The Wiggles’ territory

Tony Williams has been pining for his only grandson Max since the pandemic forced the Sydney musician and performer to cancel his trip to Austria where the seven-year-old lives.

At least Williams still gets to be one fifth of a new grandparents’ show for children called The Nannas And The Poppas.

The Nannas and The Poppas (from left) Kokil Parikh, Tony Williams, Maggie-Mae Kent, Patti Gilbert and Calvin Welch, with kids Phoenix and Saffron Libotte. Picture: Tim Hunter.
media_cameraThe Nannas and The Poppas (from left) Kokil Parikh, Tony Williams, Maggie-Mae Kent, Patti Gilbert and Calvin Welch, with kids Phoenix and Saffron Libotte. Picture: Tim Hunter.

Featuring professional performers of grandparent age, the group launches on ABC Kids TV tomorrow, National Grandparents Day.

The Nannas And The Poppas is a series of three-minute shows where child actors join the group singing interactive songs but producer Maree Kirkland-Morris is planning longer-form episodes in future.

Kirkland-Morris created The Nannas And The Poppas after realising TV programming did not reflect the important role of grandparents.

“ABS figures show 61 per cent of young children are looked after by a grandparent every week. I thought, this needs to be represented on TV,” said Kirkland-Morris who also hopes to tour the group.

The music for The Nannas And The Poppas is by Wiggles hit maker John Field, whose creations include Hot Potato and Do the Propeller.

For Tony Williams, being “Poppa Tony” on the new show is an important responsibility.

“Grandparents are a big deal in kids’ lives,” he said.

As for Max’s thoughts on his grandpa’s new direction, “he’s quite chuffed but he won’t admit it,” Williams said.

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