This summer Cartoon Network invites kids across the UK to help build a giant alien (Bloxx) out of plastic bricks and break a Guinness World Record for the greatest number of participants.
‘Bloxx’ is one of 10 new featured aliens in the brand new series of hit show Ben 10: Omniverse, which premieres on the network on 6th Oct this autumn.
The Alien World Record challenge runs through the summer holidays visiting nine busy UK shopping centres (visit www.ben10record.co.uk to find out locations closest to you). Participants can bring their own plastic brick (Cobi or Lego) to place on the giant sculpture or choose a brick from the existing selection at the event. The tour kicks off in Glasgow on 4th August at St Enoch’s shopping centre, where the first bricks will be added by local families.
And former GMTV and Daybreak weather presenter, Kirsty McCabe, is launching the world record atempt in Glasgow on Saturday 4th August. She talks to FemaleFirst on why she got involved, what it's like being a mum and her high street fashion choices.
What appealed to you about the Cartoon Network launch for Ben 10’s new season?
"The thing that tempted me was trying to break a Guinness world record. It’s the kind of thing where as a child you grow up watching programmes like record breakers and you all think ‘I’d love to take part in a world-record attempt’ and so that’s what we’re going to be doing. We’re going to be attempting to set the Guinness world record for the greatest number of participants involved in building our giant Ben 10 alien. It will be fun."
"And the other great thing about doing this alien record with BEN 10 is that I can get up to Glasgow and spend more time with family."
Why should families get involved with the Ben 10 alien?
“It’s just going to be a nice day out, something to do with the kids. It’s something really simple, too. Basically everyone just puts on a plastic brick and we’ll build this giant block alien. But by doing that you’ll get counted in and it’ll all be a part of the Guinness world record. It’s something you can all do as a family and it’s a nice thing to do.
"It all kicks start in Glasgow on the 4th of August, that’s where I’m going to be. Then it’s going across the UK, another eight locations where people can take part and then the whole thing finishes in London and by that point it’s going to be a very big alien moving around the country. Although it’s an alien I presume it’s going to have to rely on more conventional methods of travelling around!”
Your son Ethan will be two-years-old on Christmas day – so what’s more challenging, your full time job of being a mum or your day job on television?
I’m not that label conscious. Occasionally if I get given a present that’s a designer label I think ‘ooh that’s really nice’, but I actually tend to be more of a high-street person..."
“The challenge is juggling them both. You never have enough time in the day to do everything and there’s always the worry that you’re not really devoting enough time to either role. So you always feel a bit guilty like your letting something down. I think you have to not think like that and focus on making the most of the time you spend as each.
“The lovely thing about going back to work is that you can be you again and you’re not just somebody’s mummy - you sort of get a little bit of your old life back. If I wasn’t back at work, I might start to feel a bit bored or that I won’t be fully challenged. Sometimes it’s nice to come to work, get away from it all, do your hair and makeup and put on a nice dress, tell people what the weather’s doing - it’s a bit of an escape.
“But then obviously the lovely thing about having a child is being with them and you want to spend as much time with them as you can.”
What were your favourite cartoons to watch as a child and do you watch any with Ethan now?
"As a child I remember watching all the classic things such as Rhubarb and Custard and they’re still on now so sometimes you hear the theme music and you’re like ‘ooh I remember that’. There’s a cartoon also that my friend Lorraine Kelly does the voiceover for - Raa Raa the noisy lion - and whenever Ethan hears Raa Raa, his head snaps round to look at the lion. But he’s still only little so you can put pretty much anything on.
“Sometimes we’ll watch animal programmes and he’ll just start making the noise for cats and stuff that he can see. So at the moment I don’t know quite how much he’s getting from it. We try, obviously, not to watch too much TV but certainly like most kids, they are drawn to it.”
You listed a coat from Danish designer Ilse Jacobsen as a ‘favourite’ on your website. Would you say you’re quite a fashion conscious mum – what are your favourite brands?
“I’m not that label conscious. Occasionally if I get given a present that’s a designer label I think ‘ooh that’s really nice’, but I actually tend to be more of a high-street person and I’m not bothered about labels. That coat – because it was made in Denmark is AMAZING at keeping you warm.
“We had such a cold winter and none of the jackets I bought in the UK quite did it, obviously Danish people are a little bit more used to the bad weather and I actually have a pair of welly boots from them as well.
“I shop at local shopping malls, places like Dorothy Perkins, a bit of Topshop and Next is really good too. I quite like doing online shopping - that’s the other secret with childcare - buy a lot of stuff online because it saves a lot of time. With the grocery shopping - that’s always an online thing for me these days.”
You are a qualified aviation forecaster – are we actually going to get any sun for more than a few days this year?
"Unfortunately the problem with weather forecasting is that I tend to read the forecast on the next few days because once you look further ahead there’s a lot of uncertainty. At the moment I don’t see anything amazing other than a few good days here and there. If I could just control the weather - that’s my next step - I’d make it better!"
Can you give us a few tips on how our readers can make the best of the sunny days that we will get – what sort of things do you do as a family in your spare time?
“Last weekend was a nice example because it was so hot and sunny that we were just out in the back garden and we had the paddling pool up with some water in it to keep a little bit cool. Also, I insisted on buying a gazebo the other day in case of showers but in this case we didn’t need it; it was for shade so it was lovely. We were sat with lots of toys out and we had friends over and had a nice barbecue, basically just chilling at home and it was really nice.
“But our local park has some good things to do with the kids too. There’s a water feature there for the kids to play in, so I think just the best thing would be to get out and about and enjoy the weather when we have it and for as long as we have it. The first half of the summer has been atrocious but, fingers crossed, I’d like to think that the second half would make up for it.”
You’re currently in charge of all things weather for central southern England – but what’s coming up next for you?
"It’s kind of just seeing what’s out there really. I worked for the BBC a few years ago so it’s nice to come back and they’re a good team to work with here. I'll just have to see who else needs the weather - there’s always going to be weather!"
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Shabana Adam @Shabana_FAM