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BBC films ‘Apple Tree House’ for CBeebies on Bromley-by-Bow housing estate

PUBLISHED: 07:00 13 May 2017 | UPDATED: 09:44 17 May 2017

The friends in the 'Apple Tree House'...  Bella (left, played by Summer Jenkins), Sam (Miranda Peprah), and  Mali (Aamir Tai). Picture: BBC/FIVE APPLES

The friends in the 'Apple Tree House'... Bella (left, played by Summer Jenkins), Sam (Miranda Peprah), and Mali (Aamir Tai). Picture: BBC/FIVE APPLES

BBC

TV crews have been filming a children’s drama series starting later this month that used an east London housing estate as a set.

Sam (played by Miranda Peprah) and her dad Kobi (William Vanderpuye). Picture: GUY LEVY Sam (played by Miranda Peprah) and her dad Kobi (William Vanderpuye). Picture: GUY LEVY

The Apple Tree House episodes filmed on Bromley-by-Bow’s huge Devons Estate begins on the BBC’s CBeebies children’s channel on May 22. It was given a pre-screening at Bromley-by-Bow centre on Wednesday.

The story follows Mali, played by nine-year-old Aamir Tai, who has just moved to “an extraordinary estate” where he meets his new friends Sam, played by Miranda Peprah, and Bella, played by Summer Jenkins.

The friends go on adventures on the fictitious Apple Tree House estate, solving problems and overcoming childhood dilemmas.

The youngsters aged seven to nine were picked out of 1,500 children when the producers ran auditions in schools and community groups.

Grandma Zainab (played by Shaheen Khan) with Mali (Aamir Tai). Picture: GUY LEVY Grandma Zainab (played by Shaheen Khan) with Mali (Aamir Tai). Picture: GUY LEVY

“I hadn’t done any acting before,” Aamir says. “But I really enjoyed playing Mali.

“The adventures with ‘Grandma Zainab’ reminded me of my own grandma who can’t wait to see me on TV.”

His ‘grandma’ is played by Shaheen Khan and Sam’s ‘father’ Kobi by William Vanderpuye in the Apple Tree House series developed by Rastamouse producers Eugenio Perez and Gregory Boardman.

Producer Greg Boardman said: “We found the perfect backdrop at the Devans Estate that allowed the crew to realise the creators’ vision.”

The production team got help from organisations including Tower Hamlets Film Office and Poplar Harca Housing which runs the Devons Estate.

Casting for the young actors was at community groups and schools across London, as well as social media.

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