IF you've ever tuned into Andy Day's various children's TV shows, you'd know the English children's entertainer has ticked off an incredible bucket list of experiences.
The intrepid time-traveller has come face-to-face with a terrifying Tyrannosaurus Rex in the Cretaceous Period, he has swam with gigantic blue whales in the depths of the ocean and shivered alongside emperor penguins in Antarctica.
However, what Day has never experienced is an Australian Christmas.
Last week Day flew to Sydney with his wife Kat Woolfe and their daughters Ruby, 4, and Indiana, 1, to finally tick off a Aussie Christmas from his bucket list.
"It'll be my first summer Christmas," Day says before his flight.
"We've got some friends and we're planning to go really traditional with a barbecue on the beach. You know, really stereotypical."
The summer holiday will be the perfect way for the affable Day to recharge his batteries before his Andy's Amazing Adventures' Australian tour kicks off in Perth on January 5.
The Andy's Amazing Adventures stage show made a successful debut in Australia in 2019, entertaining families with a mix of comedy, educational story-telling, special effects and puppetry, with Day's feline sidekick, Kip, making a guest appearance. The show was originally supposed to return in 2020.
"It was great [the 2019 tour], which is the reason why I'm coming back," Day says. "We loved it. The show went really well and we were playing to some packed houses, which was obviously lovely."
Day, 41, has been a children's TV and music star in the UK for 15 years on BBC's kids channel CBeebies, originally as a host, before expanding into his own TV series such as Andy's Wild Adventures, Andy's Dinosaur Adventures, Andy's Prehistoric Adventures and Andy's Aquatic Adventures.
The programs' balance between entertainment and education and Day's natural charm, exuberance and shaggy mane of hair have also endeared him to Australian children on ABC Kids.
Becoming a children's entertainer and performer has been a lifelong dream for Day after watching English shows Blue Pizza and The Broom Cupboard and Australia's Round The Twist growing up.
"When I wanted to be a performer it was the children's industry I wanted to get into," he says.
"Just because kids are really honest. It's a colourful industry. There's a lot of creativity that goes on behind it.
"It's not the biggest budgets in the world, but the production teams and people who work on children's TV make the best of it.
"It's really important. People bond over the programs they used to watch as a kid.
"You can connect over it, and for some kids who maybe haven't had the best starts in life, they grow up on the TV and it's what educates them, so it's really important."
At the heart of Andy's Amazing Adventures is a desire to inspire children to learn about the natural world.
"It's trying to inspire kids to get outside, go on adventures, learn about natural history," Day says. "More than anything it's about play. It's about being able to play and socialise and actually see the real world as opposed to seeing it behind a screen.
"It's ironic that I've said that when it's on TV, but you want them to be encouraged to go out."
Day is also at the forefront of a campaign to stamp out bullying in schools with his children's rock band Andy & The Odd Socks.
Held in November to coincide with Anti-Bullying Week, Odd Socks Day encourages everyone in schools and workplaces to wear miss-matched socks to promote a message of acceptance and kindness.
"It's a nice simple message where the kids listen to a song we've written for Anti-Bullying Week and they can talk about what bullying means and bring up the subject and talk about being kind, respecting each other and what that looks like and having confidence in yourself," he says.
"We're quite proud of that. In partnership with the Anti-Bullying Alliance we started with 30,000 schools, and that was a month before.
"Now it's 7 million people who get involved in Odd Socks Day in the UK and sometimes internationally as well.
"It's grown exponentially over the last six years and it's something we're really passionate about."
Andy's Amazing Adventures comes to the Canberra Theatre on January 17 and Newcastle's Civic Theatre on January 24.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.