Northern Ireland news

South Belfast school girl (10) lands another CBBC role

Cara Mailey (left) from Carryduff appears in the new CBBC series, Craft Party. Picture by CBBC

JUST last year a 10-year-old from south Belfast inspired audiences when she appeared on television screens in a children's TV programme.

Cara Mailey, who was born with achondroplasia, a form of dwarfism, helped raise awareness of her condition when she starred in a kids makeover show, The Dengineers.

And now the Carryduff schoolgirl is back again after landing another role on CBBC.

Cara is one of six presenters on Craft Party - a UK adaptation of a popular Israeli children's craft and DIY show.

Her mother Tricia last night told The Irish News that "there's no stopping" her daughter.

"I think she wants to do something in acting or presenting, she's really got a taste for it," she said.

The series involves Cara and her fellow crafters creating art and food ready for a themed 'Craft Party'.

During each episode, the crafters show how to rustle up a striking piece of art and a creative serving of food that is both "pleasing on the eye and tasty in the tum at the make table and in the Craft Party kitchen".

Among the themes for the episodes are pirates, monsters, space, superheroes or safari, with the audience at home able to recreate their very own craft party.

Cara's appearance on the show comes after she starred in the children's television programme, The Dengineers, last year - a CBBC makeover show which involves transforming an unused space into a unique den.

She was teamed up with designer Maral Tulip to create a sweetie den in the back garden of her home after she told of how she found it hard to get things appropriate for her height and age due to her conditiion.

Her mum Tricia last night said her daughter, a pupil at St Joseph's Primary School in Carryduff, had jumped at the chance of another television role.

"We heard from Alison Campbell, who represents Cara, that they were looking kids to present a new show that would be going out on CBBC," she said.

"Straight away Cara said yes and she went straight in and recorded a 30 second video diary related to arts and crafts.

"It was sent off and then we got the call that she was being invited to London for an audition.

"She went off to London with my mum, as I couldn't go because I was pregnant, and the next thing we heard she had got it."

Filming for the programme, which is being broadcast on CBBC, took place over two weeks in London in April.

"There's 20 episodes in total and Cara is in 11 of them," said Tricia.

"She's one of six kids that are rotated through the programme and each episode is centred around a party, so you have a glitter part, a den party - each week there's a craft and some sort of baking or food made.

"Cara really enjoyed the filming, it was a great opportunity for her."

And now her mum believes it has given Cara a real taste of fame.

"She's done two series now and we've been told to keep an eye out as there might be more soon," added Tricia.

"I think she wants to do something in acting or presenting, she's really got a taste for it now.

"We're very proud of her, she has done so well to be a part of two programmes now and has loved every minute of it ."

Craft Party is on CBBC on Sunday at 9.30am.

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