Australia’s longest-running children’s program will debut a new animal education series in 2023 featuring native animal expert Ben Dessen.

Play School Animal Sanctuary will feature a varied line-up of native animals curated by Dessen. He said filming the five-part series was an amazing opportunity to share his passion for nature and animals with a new generation.

“There is no show more iconic than Play School on Australian television. Many generations have grown up watching the show over its 56-year history, making it the longest-running children’s show in Australia,” he said. 

“The five-part series educates preschool-aged children about many different types of animals. Each episode is themed around a different group of animals, including mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish. 

“I have a driving passion to educate people about wildlife and love nothing more than teaching children about animals to instil a love of nature in the next generation from a young age. 

“Being able to connect kids with animals through Play School is an incredible honour and privilege,” said Dessen, who even gave singing a go for the first time. 

“Filming the series was a lot of fun, and I even make my singing debut on national television, singing a song in every episode,” he said.

Although Dessen claims to be anything but a professional singer, he hopes to inspire children from a young age to learn more about nature and our unique native animals.

Play School Animal Sanctuary will air in February 2023 on ABC TV and stream on ABC iView. 

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