Special South Yorkshire girl’s joy as she meets her TV hero

Lauren Taylor with her parents, Paul and Katherine, and Mr Tumble
Lauren Taylor with her parents, Paul and Katherine, and Mr Tumble
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This special ray of sunshine from South Yorkshire was jumping up and down with excitement when she met her TV hero, Mr Tumble.

Little Lauren Taylor, who won The Star’s Cute Kids competition as a baby, has a rare genetic condition called Williams Syndrome.

Lauren Taylor with Mr Tumble

Lauren Taylor with Mr Tumble

The condition has affected her development and means her ability to walk and talk is not at the same level as her friends.

However, the three-year-old has come on leaps and bounds thanks to watching Mr Tumble - or Justin Fletcher - on CBeebies using Makaton, a language programme used by those with communication difficulties.

Proud mum Katherine, aged 37, said: “She is such a content and happy little child - she is a ball of fun.

“She can say a few words and she says hello to everybody as the condition means she has no fear of strangers.

Lauren Taylor, aged three, meets her CBeebies heroes

Lauren Taylor, aged three, meets her CBeebies heroes

“When we take her to the shops, she will wave and say hello to every single person around the shop so it does take a while!”

Lauren’s dad, Paul, aged 38, entered a national newspaper competition to win tickets to the Something Special show at Sheffield’s Motorpoint Arena. The family were amazed when they won.

Katherine, of Springfield Road, Hoyland Common, Barnsley, said: “We just couldn’t believe it - she loves Mr Tumble and is really responsive to the programme.

“We had taken her to a little show a while back and she cried as soon as the gentleman with the microphone came out. She has ear defenders but it’s a struggle to keep them on a three year-old!

Pictured is Katherine Taylor with her 11 months old daughter Lauren at home in Springfield Road,Hoyland Common

Pictured is Katherine Taylor with her 11 months old daughter Lauren at home in Springfield Road,Hoyland Common

“We were quite nervous as to how she would react but with it being familiar to her it was amazing to watch her. She had ice cream in the interval and was jumping up and down with excitement.”

Lauren was born at 36 weeks weighing just 3lb 12oz. At four months old, she was diagnosed with Williams Syndrome, which affects one in 25,000 children in the UK.

“Due to her development delay, the ‘normal’ milestones for a child are a huge achievement for Lauren to master,” said Katherine, a pensions worker.

“At the moment she isn’t yet walking fully and her speech is just a few words - but even this week she is starting to say ‘blue’ and ‘yellow’, and she has started to sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.”

After the Something Special show, Lauren met Justin Fletcher and some of the CBeebies cast.

Katherine said: “From the moment we entered the Arena she was fascinated in the people, lights and sounds.

“Lauren was so excited when she saw Justin and we as parents couldn’t have been more proud of her.”