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Happy Valley’s James Norton to read CBeebies Bedtime Story about own health condition-Josie Copson-Entertainment – Metro

He is the latest celebrity to take on the job.

Happy Valley’s James Norton to read CBeebies Bedtime Story about own health condition-Josie Copson-Entertainment – Metro

James Norton will be reading a CBeebies Bedtime Story (Picture: Pete Dadds / CBeebies / BBC)

James Norton is the latest celebrity to take on the iconic CBeebies Bedtime Story.

Harry Styles, Dolly Parton, Catherine, Princess of Wales, and Tom Hardy have previously taken on the job, and now it’s the Happy Valley actor’s turn.

The 38-year-old has a personal connection to his book choice – the story aims to educate young children about diabetes, which James was diagnosed with 16 years ago.

How to Manage a Mammoth, which was written by Dr Rose Stewart, illustrated by Richard Dwyer and created in collaboration with NHS Wales, asks readers to think of diabetes like an animal, in that it is something that won’t go away but they can learn to accept and manage it.

Ahead of his episode of CBeebies Bedtime Stories airing, James told the BBC: ‘My diabetes animal is a big shaggy dog called Bruce. When I first got Bruce, he was a puppy. He was difficult to control because he was always overexcited. Now, he’s a bit older and calmer.

‘He still gets scared when someone’s at the door or he’s hungry. And then he barks very loudly. Or when he gets excited, he still runs around and knocks things over. But generally he strolls along by my side. Bruce is my pal,’ James continued.

‘I’m pleased to say that today Bruce is under control and very calm, which makes me feel very happy and relaxed.’

James says his diabetes is ‘under control’ (Picture: Alan Chapman/Dave Benett/Getty Images)

Diabetes is a condition that causes a person’s blood sugar level to become too high.

There are two main types – type one diabetes, which James has, is described as a lifelong condition where the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the cells that produce insulin by the NHS and type two diabetes, which 90% of people with diabetes in the UK have, is where the body does not produce enough insulin, or the body’s cells do not react to insulin properly.

People with type one diabetes require regular insulin injections. James wears a Dexcom sensor, which monitors glucose in the blood. He has previously spoken about how he is determined to live ‘normally’.

James as Tommy Lee Royce with Sarah Lancashire as Catherine Cawood on Happy Valley (Picture: BBC/Lookout Point/Matt Squire)

‘For me personally, being diabetic, I’m choosing to live a very normal life and not let the diabetes control you and limit you,’ he told The Independent.

‘The diabetes will add a small challenge but there’s a stubbornness in me like, “Yes! I’m going to prove to myself and all the other type one diabetics that you can do a three-hour play and it’s not going to hinder you”.’

‘I’m choosing to live a very normal life’ (Picture: Dave Benett/Getty Images)

James has had roles in TV shows Grantchester, War & Peace, and Happy Valley, in which he plays villain Tommy Lee Royce.

He played the criminal up until the finale in 2023 and told GQ: ‘I have been with him for 10 years, I feel deeply sorry for him. I feel immense pity and empathy and I sort of really love him.

‘My final conclusion on Tommy is that I don’t think he is a psychopath, he’s just incredibly damaged.’

James is said to have been cast in a reboot of the BBC crime drama Bergerac, alongside Poldark actor Aidan Turner and Doctor Who star David Tennant, and he’s a favourite to play the iconic James Bond. Well, he does have half the name!

The tradition has been running since 2002 (Picture: Pete Dadds / CBeebies / BBC)

Children and their parents (and those without offspring too) can tune into James’ CBeebies takeover this Friday at 6:50pm.

The popular format has been running since 2002, with the BBC aiming to get the nation reading with a starry lineup, meaningful partnerships and brilliant stories.

In the past, they’ve also welcomed Strictly Come Dancing champion Rose-Ayling Ellis who read the first-ever story in British Sign Language, and the late Rob Burrow who used an eye-controlled computer to communicate the narrative.

James Norton’s CBeebies Bedtime Story will air on CBeebies at 6.50pm on Friday 14 June.

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