Vet student makes CBEEBIES big time

17 Apr 2014 14:40:46.750
PA 107/14

Vet student Jess French is to front a new wildlife series for the BBC’s CBeebies channel. The new series Minibeast Adventure with Jess will prove you don’t have to go all the way to Africa to have an interesting animal encounter. Jess explores the amazing creatures that live right on our doorstep.

Jess, a third year student at the School of Veterinary Medicine and Science, grew up with a passion for the natural world, as her father bred insects. She completed a degree in Zoology at UCL before starting her veterinary studies at Nottingham. This knowledge and experience has given her an in-depth understanding of the very smallest creatures which she is enthusiastic to share with the next generation. 

‘Minibeast Adventure with Jess’ is a series of 20 nine minute programmes which brings 20 amazing creatures into the living rooms of the CBeebies audience.  

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Jess will be encouraging her viewers to explore their local environment and get close to the minibeasts that live in the gardens, parks and windowboxes around them. In each episode, viewers visit Jess’s treehouse where she introduces them to her minibeast of the day. From there she sets out on a ‘Minibeast Adventure’ with children to try and find that day’s animal or insect.

A passionate zoologist, naturalist and entomologist, her in-depth understanding of the importance of the smallest creatures underpins her passion for sharing her knowledge and passing it on to the next generation. 

So does a TV career beckon? Jess said: “At the moment I’m managing to juggle both... just! We shot the show in my holidays and they were really supportive of my vet studies. The show airs the day before my third year finals start so I hope I won’t be too distracted! I still want to be a vet but who knows where this may lead. I'm just taking every day a step at a time right now and enjoying being a part of the movement to get kids outdoors and caring about the environment — if I could do that and be a vet in my spare time, that would be ideal!”

Jess’s other TV credits include Springwatch (BBC), Micro Monsters 3D (Sky), Live ‘n’ Deadly (CBBC) and Deadly Mission Madagascar (CBBC).

Dr Karen Braithwaite, Director of Academic Support and Administration at Nottingham’s Veterinary School, said: “We are very proud of Jess — this is a fantastic opportunity for her. She is great veterinary student and an asset to the School. It’s terrific that Jess can share her love and knowledge of animals with the next generation.”

Minibeast Adventure with Jess is produced by award winning Kindle Entertainment with Producer Clare Bradley and Executive Producer Anne Brogan. The series is directed by Lotte Elwell and Helen Sheppard. The CBeebies Executive Producer is Michael Towner.

Nottingham Veterinary School is recognised as the best place to study veterinary medicine in The Times/Sunday Times Good University Guide 2014 and is rated top in the UK in the National Student Survey and Association of Veterinary Students Survey.

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Notes to editors: The University of Nottinghamhas 43,000 students and is ‘the nearest Britain has to a truly global university, with campuses in China and Malaysia modelled on a headquarters that is among the most attractive in Britain’ (Times Good University Guide 2014). It is also the most popular university among graduate employers, the world’s greenest university, and winner of the Times Higher Education Award for ‘Outstanding Contribution to Sustainable Development’. It is ranked in the World's Top 75 universities by the QS World University Rankings.

Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, its biggest-ever fundraising campaign, is delivering the University’s vision to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future. More news…

Story credits

More information is available from Sarah Stevens or Emma Carson at KPPR on +44 (0)203 137 6499, or
Lindsay Brooke

Lindsay Brooke - Media Relations Manager

Email: Phone: +44 (0)115 951 5751 Location: University Park

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