Mr Bloom (and his hat, wellies and waistcoat) will need no introduction for anyone with a child under six. But if you haven't come across this green-fingered veggie grower before, here's a quick recap: Mr Bloom is a gardener character - played by Ben Faulks - who teaches children (and their parents) about nature, garden and growing-your-own in the hugely popular CBeebies show of the same name.
Think Mister Maker but a different waistcoat and more fresh air and you're half way there.
We caught up with dad-of-three Ben to talk fan mail and veggies. Wellies at the ready...
What was your background into kids' TV?
I was doing street theatre and performances as a very early version of Mr Bloom. I then pitched the idea to CBBC when I became a dad. You can't escape CBBC as a parent, but you also realise the real relevance of it so it was a perfect fit. I developed the character with the CBeebies team and Mr Bloom's Nursery was born. The rest is history!
Are you green fingered when you don't have your Mr Bloom hat on?
I love nature and being outside, but I don't have half as much time as Mr Bloom to do any of it! I'm hands on with the content and writing for the show. We have a production team and a gardening consultant to advise us - so we don't poison anything!
Do you get recognised when you're off duty?
Now and then - but the Mr Bloom's hat is a great disguise, especially when combined with wellies and a waistcoat. I usually get away with being anonymous. It's parents more than children who do recognise me, which is nice as I'm a dad so I have empathy for other parents - and I know the audience.
Do you get any weird fan mail from parents?
I tend to get nice things – like cake and knitted veggies. I haven't been sent anything I've had to 'dispose' of – let's leave it at that!
You're appearing at the Edible Garden Show in March. How do you find live appearances?
It's the first year I've appeared there, and I'll be performing a high energy show with games, song and dance. I love live shows. TV is a fantastic medium but live entertainment is so immediate and interactive with the audience.
You have three young children (aged seven, five and three). Are they fans of Mr Bloom?
They have seen the show, but they would happily watch something else – let's put it that way! They take interest in it because it's dad, but I think they would rather watch Octonouts or Scooby Doo – they're my main competitors on the small screen.
On Saturday, 21 March, CBeebies' Mr Bloom will be popping along to The Edible Garden Show's Experts Theatre to inspire the 'tiddlers' with his high-energy show.
They'll be a bundle of veggie stories, gardening games and catchy songs in a high-energy show - visit Theediblegardenshow.co.uk for more information.
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