UK acting royalty unite with Tonies for Great Ormond Street Hospital storytelling initiative

A group of Britain’s most celebrated actors have pooled their storytelling skills during lockdown to entertain the children at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) with the help of tonies, the popular children’s storytelling audio device.

Award-winning talent including Olivia Colman, Katherine Parkinson and Keira Knightley recorded readings of their favourite children’s stories to entertain patients staying on the wards at GOSH as they receive vital treatment for rare and complex conditions.

The stars worked with tonies, to help bring the Magical Audio Experience to the children in the hospital. The collection of stories and poems, delivered by a host of actors, was uploaded and locked onto Superhero Creative-Tonies, for the children to listen to in the wards as often as they liked.

Stories recorded include: ‘Dr Doolittle’, ‘In the Night Kitchen’ ‘Mr Sneeze’ and ‘The Sulky Vulture’ plus a series of poems from A. A. Milne. The readings from actors of both stage and screen were uploaded onto 50 Creative-Tonies for 50 Tonieboxes and donated to Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity. They were distributed by members of the hospital’s dedicated play team, filling the wards with the sounds of captivating readings.

Joel Keating, heading up this project from United Agents, office of Lindy King, said: “Sharing positive stories during a challenging few months felt like a way we could truly make a difference to the children receiving treatment at Great Ormond Street Hospital. We hope that this project has brought some comfort, entertainment and smiles to them.”

Manon Sel, UK GM and Pinky Laing, UK Partnerships at tonies, commented: “We are thrilled to have been able to bring this wonderful idea to life and play our part in helping to offer a welcome distraction to those children currently in Great Ormond Street Hospital by producing this compilation of stories by these amazing actors.

“Our main goal at Tonies is to entertain and inspire young minds through the magical world of storytelling. When the request came in, we knew straight away that we wanted to help. tonies are so proud to support Great Ormond Street Hospital.”

Laura Walsh, head of play services at Great Ormond Street Hospital, added: “We are thrilled with the donation of these stories, which will help to stimulate the imaginations of children during their stay in hospital. It will provide them with a positive distraction during treatment as well as helping to ease the anxieties caused by the ongoing pandemic. A huge thank you to Tonies, United Agents and all the celebrity supporters who lent their voices to this wonderful project.”

About Robert Hutchins

Robert Hutchins is the editor of ToyNews and its sister title, He has worked his way from Staff Writer to Editor across the two titles, having spent almost eight years with both and what now seems like a lifetime surrounded by toys. You can contact him by emailing or calling him on 0203 143 8780 You can even follow him on Twitter @RobGHutchins if ranting is your thing...

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