We rounded up a group of British celebrities, including singer Beverley Knight, newsreader John Sergeant and model Imogen Thomas, and encouraged them to demonstrate their love for Miffy by participating in a film to celebrate the launch of Simon and Schuster’s new, modernised range of books starring Dick Bruna’s classic character, which went in store nationwide on 27 February.
The film comprised each celebrity reading a page from the new version of one of earliest Miffy storybooks, Miffy at the zoo. The film was made during Simon and Schuster’s relaunch press event – a Miffy-themed children’s party at the Dutch Centre in London, on Friday 21 February. The film was released a week later via social media, with the hashtag #modernmiffy, to coincide with the books going on sale. The celebrities tweeted proudly about the film to their followers (a total of 1.2 million), the film itself generated over 1000 views on Youtube, whilst the hashtag #modernmiffy reached 350,000 accounts.
The celebrities included singer and star of West End musical, The Bodyguard Beverley Knight, former newsreader John Sergeant, Loose Women presenter and Birds of a Feather star Linda Robson, Call the Midwife actors Cliff Parisi and Ben Caplan, model and new mum, Imogen Thomas, comedians Katherine Ryan and Jeff Leach, and chef and restaurateur Thomasina Miers.
Quotes from celebrities #miffylove
In between filming and enjoying storytelling and Miffy craft activities with their children, several of the celebrity guests were interviewed and gave an insight to their love for the little white bunny:
Singer Beverley Knight said: “Miffy for me, is a very visual character, with such distinctive ears, and the little cross for a mouth. I must have been three years old when I first encountered Miffy, and I have now passed my love of her on to my godchildren, who are here with me today.”
Call the Midwife actor, Ben Caplan commented: “I grew up on Miffy and my mum was a massive Miffy fan. When I was a child we had a dog called Miffy, and now I have passed my love of the books to my little boy, Bertie. I have fond memories of Miffy, there’s something really nostalgic about the books, my mum introduced them to me and I am now reading them to my son – it’s really important to pass that on to future generations.”
Model and Mum to 1 year old Ariana, Imogen Thomas said: “I really enjoyed the event, my daughter Ariana loves Miffy. She is a really cute character which every child will love. She is so kind and caring and that’s why she’s so popular.”
Finally, comedian Katherine Ryan said: “I’ve always loved books and sharing that time before bed to read a book with your parents is one of the only conversations you have as a child at bedtime. My daughter Violet, who is four years old, loves Miffy now, but she also loved her as a baby, because she’s so simple. It’s a rabbit, it’s a white rabbit, it’s a cute rabbit. She’s into it!”
Simon and Schuster acquired the UK publishing rights to the Miffy books in 2013, and has worked with Mercis bv – Miffy’s Dutch publisher and rights manager – to relaunch the books for a new generation. For the first time in almost 50 years, the text in the classic storybooks has been refreshed for a modern British audience – by award-winning poet, Tony Mitton (who also took part in the film), whilst new novelty activity and sticker book formats have also been launched. The range is now available in all good bookshops and online retailers, from £3.99 upwards.