Dani Harmer has said fans of Tracy Beaker will be pleased to see what a “great” parent her character has become in a new instalment of the popular television programme.
My Mum Tracy Beaker will depict the character from the Dame Jacqueline Wilson books in her 30s, alongside her 10-year-old daughter, Jess, played by Emma Maggie Davies.
The new series, which is based on a book of the same name, will air on CBBC and BBC iPlayer next month.
Harmer said: “So Tracy now is a mum! Which is amazing, I think the last time we saw her she was working as a care worker in her 20s.
“Now she’s in her 30s and she’s a mum, so it’s been really cool for me because like everyone else, I really wanted to know what happened next and where Tracy’s journey is going to take her.
“I think everyone is going to be really pleased seeing how Tracy’s progressed and what a great mum she is.”
The actress said the relationship between Tracy, who grew up in care, and Jess is “a bit more like friends” because she gave birth to her while she was “a bit younger”.
“They’re very different, Jess is quiet, she’s really good at school, she loves reading, whereas Tracy obviously wasn’t any one of those things,” she said.
“But that relationship is really nice, actually – sometimes it almost feels like Jess is the mum figure, she really looks out for her mum.
“Tracy is a fiercely protective mother and does everything for Jess.”
Justine Littlewood, Tracy’s old rival from their days in care, will return in the new series.
Harmer said the audience will be “very pleased” the character, played by Montanna Thompson, will be making a reappearance.
📣 BEAKER IS BACK KLAXON!
— BBC Press Office (@bbcpress) January 26, 2021
“Obviously that’s not going to go well,” she said.
“Tracy and Justine have butted heads since they were younger and nothing’s changed there, really.”
She said that after reuniting the pair “both become 10 years old again and just want to hit each other, pull each other’s hair and say nasty things to each other”.
Harmer said Tracy’s popularity as a character comes from the fact “everyone can see a little bit of themselves in her”.
“She has so many different emotions, just in one day, she can go from being really sad to really angry to ridiculously happy, and everyone can find a little bit of Tracy in themselves,” she said.
“She comes across as fierce and a bit scary, but underneath it all, there’s a heart of gold there.”
Harmer added: “When we first brought out Tracy Beaker, there weren’t really many strong female characters, especially in kids’ TV, there was a lot of slapstick comedy, so for me to be able to portray this awesome female character was just a dream come true.”
The actress first appeared as Tracy on television screens in 2002.