Tigeropolis – a children’s radio drama in Gaelic and Scots

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A fun, new, children’s radio drama about the environment is due to start soon.

Tigeropolis follows the adventures of a family of vegetarian tigers as they battle to save their ancient forest homeland from destruction.

The series is based on the popular children’s books written by Glasgow-born author R.D. Dikstra and inspired by his many visits to India. The stories entertain, but they also help inform children about nature and the world about them.

Richard was born and brought up in Scotland. He studied at Glasgow University and first became interested in wildlife conservation after spending two weeks on a whale watching trip on board a small cabin-cruiser in Alaska.

Since then, he has travelled to all seven continents watching and photographing wildlife. His interest in tigers was triggered when he was part of a team helping rural communities in the areas bordering some of India’s most beautiful tiger reserves. His first sighting of a tiger in the wild inspired him to write the series.

‘There’s a lot a negativity around what’s happening to our planet,’ he said. ‘I wanted to write a story that children would find informative, based on real issues, but that they’d also find fun and uplifting. The Tigeropolis tigers face lots of challenges, but ultimately they are always triumphant!’

Award-winning young wildlife film-maker Ashwika Kapur narrates the series, bringing her own unique perspective to the stories. Tigeropolis is also broadcast in Gaelic, with well-known actor and singer Gillebride MacMillan reading his own translation.

The series is accompanied by five eco-features where schoolchildren get the opportunity to ask experts about issues that interest them, including climate change, polar bears, beavers and re-wilding.

The first of 10 weekly episodes starts at 4.45pm, on Friday January 14 on Fun Kids DAB and on local FM stations across Scotland, including Radio Skye, Nevis FM and Isle FM.

Extract: ‘Caught in the Trap’

Just then there were two loud bangs in quick succession.
‘What was that?’ asked Tala nervously, ‘don’t tell me the poachers are outside already. Raj? What are we going to do?’
Looking outside the cave window, Tala could not believe her eyes.
‘Oh my goodness – whatever next!’ she exclaimed.
‘It’s your Uncle VJ … on a Tuk Tuk!’
Sure enough there was Uncle VJ climbing out of the driver’s seat of a slightly dilapidated, little green and yellow, Tuk Tuk, motor rickshaw.
As always VJ was wearing a cream and gold kaftan, with a garland of fresh marigolds round his neck, and smiling serenely as though everything was the best possible, in the best of all possible worlds.
The family was now all gathered at the door, ‘What do you think of my new wheels, Raj?’ VJ called out, clearly very pleased with himself.