BAFTA award-winning TV animation Ben & Holly’s Little Kingdom is live on stage at Mayflower Theatre next week.

Producer Phil Davies and creators Mark Baker and Neville Astley, filled us in on the show ahead of its arrival at Mayflower Theatre.

Q) How did the idea come about?

Phil: “When we finished making the first 52 episodes of Peppa we were at a bit of a loose end. Making Peppa had been so much fun, we decided to think about developing a new series. We discussed some broad ideas and then Mark and Nev went away to work up some of the ideas.”

Mark: “Peppa is set in a world that is basically the everyday world that we live in. The stories come from everyday events. We thought it would be interesting to make a series which was set in a magical world but where the stories still start off from everyday events - if that makes sense! Also, having magic as an element was exciting. We took the approach that the fairy magic would almost always go wrong and lead to unexpected results.”

Nev: “We wanted to make a series that was equally for boys and girls. We try to make an equal number of elf and fairy adventures.

Is it pure escapism working on the series and inhabiting a world of make-believe?

Mark: “Animators do inhabit a world of make-believe. We have to believe in the worlds we create. We talk about the characters as if they are real people. Most animators are very much children at heart.”

Do you feel as though you have the midas touch – will you go on creating new series ideas?

Mark: “I used to worry about coming up with new ideas and storylines. But the interesting thing I’ve found is that the more stories I write, the more stories I want to write. It’s as if the creative process itself leads to more ideas.

NEV: It’s tough creating a series out of thin air but great fun when we start to flesh out the characters and work out how they relate to each other.

Tickets for the show, on May 5 and 6, from 023 8071 1811 or