If you watched The Tiny Tots Talent Agency, spring 2016's must-see series on Channel 4, you'll recognise the Blackman family. The Channel 4 series took viewers behind the scenes at Bizzykidz, one of the UK's largest children's talent agencies, to meet talented kids and their ambitious parents.
The four-part series in April and May saw kids compete for acting roles, West End debuts, modelling gigs and more. In the final episode of the series, at 5.25pm on Sunday 8 May, the talent agency puts forward a host of families to compete to become travel writers and video bloggers for Family Traveller (a much coveted opportunity!). Following a tough selection process, the Blackman family from Kent – mum Sherise, dad George and Nia, 11, Zuri, eight, and Amar, six – are selected to travel to the Dominican Republic with Family Traveller publisher Andrew Dent and a film crew.
The family are thrilled to have the once-in-a-lifetime chance to enjoy a Club Med holiday with a twist, all while being filmed for Channel 4 – plus the chance to write about their experiences for Family Traveller.
Here, mum Sherise lets us know how the family got on at Club Med Resort & Spa in Punta Cana, home to an exciting new circus school...
'As we boarded our Air France flight from Heathrow – first stop Paris, then a connecting flight to the Dominican Republic – excitement was in the air. We had never been to the “Dom Rep” before, and we were definitely looking forward to the sun, sand and sea, as well as whatever other tropical treats the island had in store for us.
'On arrival at Club Med Resort & Spa, we were greeted by a chorus-line of staff, singing, clapping and dancing as we walked into the vibrant foyer. Along with exotic welcome drinks and freshly sliced coconut, this made for a lovely welcome. The wide array of activities on offer at the resort make it extremely appealing as a family destination – there is definitely no danger of the children becoming bored.
'But the huge highlight for all our children, and a real unique selling point for this place, was the acrobatic and artistic experience Creactive, by Cirque de Soleil. In the kids’ words: “It was AMAZING!”
'Staff members Audrey and Janelle, in particular, were so friendly and enthusiastic that it had our eldest wanting to join an aerial acrobatics school in the future. The hoop, silks, trapeze and trampoline were all huge hits. This one-of-a-kind holiday activity school really sets Club Med Punta Cana apart from other resorts, and would definitely encourage us to return.
'Food at the resort was consistently of a good standard, with plenty of choice to cater for all palates. We grown-ups especially appreciated the fine-dining available. Our only criticism was that there weren’t many local dishes on offer, since we would have liked to sample the traditional food of the island.
'The entertainers at the kids’ club were fantastic fun, creating a world of adventures even the adults couldn’t help joining in with and cheering on... we’ll never forget Captain Cous Cous!
'There was so much laughter and excitement during our adventure in Punta Cana, which is exactly what we want in our holiday. Family games and activities like archery, minigolf, kayaking and snorkelling made our precious family time all the more special.
'One regret is that there is so much to do in the resort, we didn’t find time to leave – it’s a shame, as we would have liked to explore the Dominican Republic and get to know its history and culture. Nevertheless, you cannot be disappointed with all that’s on offer here, and as far as family holidays go, this made our top 10.
'The children are growing so quickly, we cherished these moments – and made special memories that will stay with us forever.'