07/11/2009 11:26 GMT | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

Celebrity Parents' Top Tips For Reading Aloud To Kids

Reading stories aloud doesn't come naturally to many parents. Frankly, you can feel like a bit of a twerp if you have to put on a big bad Gruffalo voice, or pretend to be Harry Potter when you are a forty-something mother of two who's desperate for the children to go to bed.

So here are some tips from people who perform for a living, on why reading aloud is important and how we can do it better.

Alesha Dixon (who's not a mum but a supporter of children's charities) says: "I am passionate about reading because I think it's a very important thing... it gives you knowledge, it gives you confidence. When I do funny voices I don't even realise I'm doing it half the time and it is fun - it takes you back to just being a child yourself and you don't feel stupid because it's appropriate that you put on a silly voice."

GMTV's Ben Shephard adds: "My top tip if you're going to read aloud is just enjoy it, just go to town - the more you give the more you get out of it. You know they laugh and they get scared and they get excited because you're adding a voice. It's a really magical thing."

Meat Loaf says: "Tips for reading out loud to the kids? Oh you need to have fun with it, you need to be a little animated, you don't have to go over the top but a little animated and if its scary you know make them shiver under the covers. If it's friendly and happy and fuzzy and warm then make them feel friendly happy fuzzy and warm"

Actress Kym Marsh says: "I think just make it more fun, just realise its actually like playing, its just another thing you can do with your child and actually it's a really nice thing because you interact a lot and they get a lot from it, and they learn themselves to not have any inhibitions about putting silly voices on."

And they should know - these celebrity parents have been reading stories for the new Bookaboo DVD. Fern Britton, Robson Green and Al Murray have also lent their storytelling skills. The premise is that Bookaboo (whom you might have seen in his BAFTA-nominated CITV series) is a rock drumming puppy who can't play without a story from one of his celebrity pals. His new DVD has just been released and is available here.