A LOCAL schoolgirl has put “Fermanagh on the map” as the star of an all-singing, all-dancing CBeebies show.

Nine-year-old Nina He, from Newtownbutler, stars as Yukee in the all-new animated series of the same name.

The programme follows the adventures of a six-year-old ukulele-playing girl in a magical garden, complete with musical animals, some of whom have been voiced by popular musicians.

The series, which is aimed at three- to five-year-olds, been described by Executive Producer Mark Gordon as “a music-first preschool series created by musicians for the musicians of the future”.

Just like the character she plays, Nina is of both Northern Irish and Chinese heritage.

Nina’s mum, Becky, is beaming with pride not only because her daughter has been able to showcase her talents on TV, but also because she has been able to represent ethnic diversity.

“Nina is very excited now that Yukee is on air on CBeebies!” Becky said.

“Yukee herself is of Northern Irish and Chinese heritage, much like Nina. It’s great because not only is she representing her heritage on the show, but she is also representing the ever-growing ethnic diversity in Northern Ireland.

“I also think it is great for kids to hear a Northern Irish accent on mainstream TV!”

On Monday afternoon, Nina’s extended family gathered in Newtownbutler to watch the programme air on CBeebies.

Unfortunately, Becky and Nina couldn’t attend – but only because they were giving a live interview with BBC Radio Ulster.

“My family sent me photos and said they all loved hearing Nina’s Northern-Irish accent on the big screen,” Becky said.

“We rang them and they were all cheering her on, which is lovely, because kids can be the harshest critics.”

Becky added that there has been “quite a buzz” around Newtownbutler following her daughter’s animated TV appearance.

“We have family in Ireland, England, China, Japan, Argentina, America and New Zealand, and I’m getting messages of support from everyone,” she said.

“There’s especially great pride in Fermanagh when someone local is doing well. It puts us on the map for the right reasons.

“We hope Yukee gets all the publicity it deserves, and that everyone enjoys it just as much as us. The people we worked with were all amazing, and made us feel right at home.”

But what’s next for the talented CBeebies star from Newtownbutler?

“Nina often talks about working in the industry,” Becky said. “Whether it’s voice-over work, singing or acting, Nina wants to do it all.

“I’m here to support her, to guide her in any way I can to help her achieve that, including keeping her grounded.

“I believe Nina will achieve whatever she wants in life, because she’s very confident and won’t be forced to do something she doesn’t want to.

“Nina is just someone you will remember meeting. There is a spark in Nina – she’s full of craic, her laughter is loud and infectious and she can talk to anyone.

“I can’t wait to see what her future holds!”