Bitten by the Pompom Bug

Art and craft show host Phil Gallagher's favourite work is a bug made with a pom-pom which he will teach audiences here to make

Actors wearing costumes of different shapes will perform in the live show in Singapore, helmed by Phil Gallagher.
Actors wearing costumes of different shapes will perform in the live show in Singapore, helmed by Phil Gallagher.PHOTO: MISTER MAKER

Popular TV presenter Phil Gallagher is back in Singapore with a new live show to charm his young audiences.

The 39-year-old Briton is the host of the well-loved children's TV edutainment show, Mister Maker. Broadcast in more than 100 countries since its launch in 2007, the programme teaches young children simple art and craft techniques and how to make fun art projects.

The TV show has spawned various spin-offs over the years, including live craft workshops led by Gallagher playing the title character, Mister Maker. Three such workshops have been held in Singapore since 2010.

His latest performance, happening this weekend at the family-friendly entertainment centre Downtown East in Pasir Ris, will take the form of a theatre show and see him pull out all the stops to wow the audience.

The performance will feature singing, dancing and the making of art projects with the help of members of the audience.

At one point in the show, everyone in the audience will be asked on stage to help with a large artwork.


  • WHERE: D'Marquee, Downtown East, 1 Pasir Ris Close

    WHEN: Friday, 6pm; Saturday, noon, 3 and 5pm and Sunday, 10.30am, 2 and 5pm

    ADMISSION: $35 to $110 from Sistic (go to or call 6348-5555). There is a special discount of 20 per cent for all shows and categories for The Straits Times readers. Use the promo code ST20 when booking with Sistic

Speaking to The Straits Times over the telephone from London last month, Gallagher, who is single, says: "We want this show to be spectacular. It might be many children's first theatre experience, so I see that as a real, yet exciting, responsibility to educate, entertain and inspire them to be creative."

Of the many craftwork he has made, his favourite is the Pompom Bug, a bug made with pipe cleaners and a pom-pom, which he will teach audiences to make at the show.

The artwork has a special place in his heart because his grandfather had taught him to make it when he was a child.

The performance will include popular segments from the TV show such as the song, I Am A Shape, which is sung by actors wearing costumes of the shapes circle, triangle, square and rectangle.

He says: "They're just a three- minute segment on the TV show, but they've become so loved by the children. They'll have a much bigger role to play in the live show."

The theatre show was launched last September as a touring performance in the United Kingdom and it ended its run yesterday.

It drew positive comments with some reviewers comparing Gallagher to the English pop singer Robbie Williams for his ability to sing, dance and entertain audiences both young and old.

On the comparison, he says he is "honoured to be mentioned in the same breath as Robbie Williams".

He adds: "The live show does feel like a concert. The excitement level just builds up until it becomes a big party at the end."

He began his career as a sports reporter and presenter for BBC Radio and he does not have any formal art training. His bright personality and creative flair, however, helped him snag the role of Mister Maker in 2007.

Going from TV to stage for this theatre show has been similarly easy for him because of his experience in children's theatre. He has been performing in pantomimes since 2006.

Looking back on how far he has come, he says: "I've always wanted to be a children's TV presenter. Now, I get to be that while doing art and craft, performing and travelling around the world. It's an honour and privilege and I love every moment of it."

•Mister Maker airs on CBeebies (StarHub Channel 303) daily at 10am.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 06, 2016, with the headline 'Bitten by the Pompom Bug'. Print Edition | Subscribe