30 Under 30: Cherry Campbell

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Cherry Campbell holding her BAFTA award

Maybe it was just us, but being eight was a time when acting skills were best put to use conning sweets out of adults… or hiding the fact that yeah, I totally ate one of those cupcakes (sorry mum).

Cherry Campbell posing with her BAFTA awardBut Glasgow’s Cherry Campbell went a different route. At just eight years old, she was selected to play the beloved character of Katie Morag in the BBC adaptation of the Katie Morag book series by Mairi Hedderwick.

To be fair, Cherry is definitely a better actor than we were (or are, let’s be honest). Never did get away with stealing that cupcake, but Cherry not only totally nails the part of Katie, she was the youngest ever BAFTA award winner, picking up the award for Best Performer at the Children’s BAFTAs in 2014.

She was also a Young Scot award finalist in the entertainment category in April this year, and just last week Cherry and the Katie Morag team picked up a prestigious Peabody Award for Entertainment and Children’s Programming!

So of course Cherry has become rather a celebrity – both the books and now the show are a total hit. It does mean that it gets trickier to enjoy a nice dinner out, though. Cherry told The Daily Record that ‘a lot of people recognise me in the street and they normally ask for my picture.’

‘They are always very nice to me and like Katie Morag but sometimes it can be a bit annoying because I’m trying to enjoy myself and everyone is coming over asking for a photo, but it’s all right.’

Since Cherry has a whole bunch of hobbies and interests other than acting, like ice skating, ballet, beachcombing, and Brownies, we can kind of see how celebrity could become a bit of a pain, but obviously Cherry handles it like a pro (because she is a pro!)

Even though it was Cherry’s parents who put her forward for the role, Cherry herself grabbed the part with her skill and personality, even though she wasn’t the usual stage school contender.

‘I had to act a scene from Katie Morag and the Tiresome Ted’ she told The Evening Times. ‘I wasn’t used to [acting in front of people] but I enjoyed it.’

Cherry as Katie Morag on setCherry, now 11, has been using her celebrity for good since landing the part, and earlier this year she helped launch a Scottish Government-led Read, Write, and Count campaign event at the Gorbals Library on National Library Day, where she read two of her favourite children’s books (and yes, before you ask, one of them was a Katie Morag book).

She also posed alongside First Minister Nicola Sturgeon last Christmas when Katie Morag was featured on the First Minister’s Christmas card, which raised money for four charities.

At only 11, Cherry has pretty much lived all of our fantasies (fame, awards, meeting national leaders… but we’re not jealous or anything), so whatever comes next is sure to be amazing!

It doesn’t look like there’s any more Katie Morag in the works (noooo!) but you can check the show out on Cbeebies and CBBC, and you can watch Cherry talk about her amazing BAFTA Children’s Award win on the BBC.

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