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