On Friday 16th November, actor and comedian Rob Delaney was the first person to read and sign a CBeebies Bedtime Story using Makaton. Rob and his family used Makaton with his son Henry, who sadly passed away earlier this year. Rob beautifully signed the story Ten in the Bed by Penny Dale.
Rob said: "My family loves to read together so naturally we're fans of CBeebies Bedtime Stories. I am beyond honoured to be the first person to read and sign a book using the Makaton language. Our family learned Makaton to be able to communicate with our son Henry, who couldn't speak due to a tracheostomy. We're sad Henry isn't here to see it but we're happy other families will get to enjoy a story told in Makaton."
The Bedtime Story was a huge success, with many families sharing the positive impact of having the story signed as well as read, which meant so many more children could enjoy the programme and feel included.
A video of six-year-old Tom’s amazing reaction to the programme went viral online. The video shows a very excited Tom with mum Laura watching and signing along.
Laura said “My son Tom was so excited as you can see. He has never been interested in bedtime stories before … thank you for using his language.”
Senior Makaton Tutor Tracy Clark was on hand at the filming to help Rob Delaney with his signing.
"All the dates, times, venue, people and signs had all been co-ordinated. It was certainly going ahead, Ten in the Bed was going to be amazing!"
The video of Tom was viewed thousands of times and as a result The Makaton Charity was featured on BBC News. Tracy Clark, Stephen Hall (CEO), and Hannah Anderson (Development Manager) were all interviewed discussing the video and the impact that Makaton has.
They did a fantastic job and it was great for Makaton to have such widespread recognition. We hope to see more Makaton in the community as a result.
If you haven’t watched it yet, please do, join in with the signs and have fun with the story.