England cricketers become first LGBTQ+ couple to read CBeebies bedtime story

Nat and Katherine Sciver-Brunt pictured in a Cricket stadium holding plush bears.

England cricketers and queer couple Nat and Katherine Sciver-Brunt are to become the first LGBTQ+ couple to appear on CBeebies’ Bedtime Stories.

The cricketing couple are set to make history by reading two stories, as part of Pride month, at Trent Bridge cricket ground, in Nottingham. The episode will air on Friday (9 June).

One of stories, Emily Coxhead’s Find Your Happy, is about a sloth learning to navigate its emotions.

The couple, who married in May last year, are best known for their careers as members of the England cricket team, having both being named women’s cricketer of the year in the past.

“It’s really important to know that it’s OK to feel different things or not fit in and to know that you will find your comfort zone, Nat said.  

Katherine added: “We had a lot of fun. We’re delighted to have been a part of it, especially as a couple.”

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Users across social media welcomed the announcement, saying it was “genuinely wonderful” to see more LGBTQ+ representation in children’s programming.

Others excitedly said they would be tuning in with their children to help celebrate Pride month.

However, there was also the predictable backlash, with some claiming that the BBC was “grooming” children.

As well as marking Pride month, the BBC announced that Abtaha Maqsood, Britain’s first Hijab-wearing cricketer, would read a set of stories to mark South Asian Heritage month in July.

“I absolutely loved reading a CBeebies bedtime story, it’s like nothing I’ve ever done before,” Maqsood said.

“[The stories] are a great reminder that you can be whoever you want to be, no matter who you are, what religion you follow or what you choose to wear.”

Several LGBTQ+ celebrities and notable figureheads have featured on Bedtime Stories in the past, including Elton John in 2018. The singing superstar read The Dog Detectives: Lost in London, by Zoa and Fin Gypsy.

Will Young made headlines after he read a book about LGBTQ+ parents in a 2019 episode of the programme which usually sends the channel’s broadcast for the day.

The book, Two Dads, by Carolyn Robertson, is a story about an LGBTQ+ couple adopting a child and features various progressive lessons.

The episode was similarly welcomed, with viewers saying they “love this book” and have read it to their children a number of times.