Happy Valley’s James Norton to help children learn about diabetes with CBeebies Bedtime Story

Virgin Radio

10 Jun 2024, 08:25

Credit: Getty / BBC

James Norton is set to read a CBeebies Bedtime Story in order to help young children understand diabetes and how they can manage it.

The Happy Valley star has type one diabetes, and describes his condition as “a big shaggy dog called Bruce.”

James will read How to Manage a Mammoth, which is written by Dr Rose Stewart and illustrated by Richard Dwyer. The book was created in collaboration with NHS Wales to help families explore how they feel about living with diabetes. 



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How to Manage a Mammoth encourages them to think of their diabetes as an animal, something which won’t go away but which they can learn to accept and manage.

The story sees eight-year-old Jake learn to live with his diabetes, which he imagines is a mammoth called Mel. Jake, his Mum and their friends work out how to shrink Mel the diabetes mammoth to a more manageable size.

Speaking about having been diagnosed with the condition at the age of 22, Grantchester actor James said in a statement: “My diabetes animal is a big shaggy dog called Bruce. When I first got Bruce, he was a puppy. He was difficult to control because he was always overexcited. Now, he's a bit older and calmer.

"He still gets scared when someone's at the door or he’s hungry. And then he barks very loudly. Or when he gets excited, he still runs around and knocks things over. But generally he strolls along by my side. Bruce is my pal. I'm pleased to say that today Bruce is under control and very calm, which makes me feel very happy and relaxed.”

Diabetes is a serious condition where your blood glucose level is too high. It can happen when your body doesn't produce enough insulin or the insulin it produces isn't effective. Or, when your body can't produce any insulin at all. 

Elsewhere, James is teaming up with Love Actually’s Bill Nighy and Thomasin McKenzie from Last Night in Soho for a new Netflix movie called Joy.

CBeebies Bedtime Story has previously seen Strictly Come Dancing champion Rose-Ayling Ellis reading the first ever story in British Sign Language, Rugby champion Rob Burrow reading the first story told using an eye controlled computer, and Lora Fachie with the first ever braille story. Meanwhile, Catherine, Princess of Wales was the first ever royal to read a story.

James Norton’s CBeebies Bedtime Story will air on CBeebies at 6.50pm on Friday 14 June.