Tracy Beaker has played a huge part in many lives over the past 19 years with the nation watching the fictional orphan grow up in the Dumping Ground and more recently, become a doting mum to daughter Jess – and actress Dani Harmer has vowed to continue playing the character for as long as she lives.
The original series, The Story of Tracy Beaker, made its CBBC debut in 2002, introducing young viewers to the straight-talking youngster and all-round legend, Tracy.
Her no-nonsense attitude of telling anybody who crossed her to ‘bog off’ quickly made her into a hero for kids across the country – not to mention how she would attribute any shred of emotion to hay fever. A classic.
Although the main show came to an end in 2005, it made a comeback five years later with Tracy Beaker Returns. Following that, there was the spin-off series The Dumping Ground, however, Dani did not star until the finale series.
Last month, the beloved drama returned with My Mum Tracy Beaker, with Tracy, Justine Littlewood and Cam in tow and it broke CBBC streaming records.
Since then, many OG Tracy Beaker fans have been setting their sights on what they want to see happen next in the beloved story and there’s good news because Dani has declared she’ll never ditch the role.
Speaking exclusively to Metro.co.uk, Dani said she’ll always play Tracy and refuses to let the role be recast.
‘I’d rather return to play her than someone else, that would be so weird,’ she told us. ‘I don’t know how I’d feel if someone else did it. I feel like I own it now, and no one can take that away from me.’
Dani took a step back from the show when she was a teenager to try her hand at other roles and went onto star in a string of theatre productions.
‘Going back when I was 16 and I kind of chose to leave, I had enough of playing Tracy,’ she recalled. ‘I’m an actor and I wanted to go out and I wanted to explore and play different characters.
‘I love the character so much, but part of me felt like this storylines needed shaking up a little bit. I feel like Tracy came to a natural conclusion there when she got adopted by Cam. That just seemed like the perfect happy ending.
‘But then a few years later they were like, we want to bring it back for Tracy Beaker Returns, I was like, “OK!”’
‘It didn’t take much persuading,’ Dani added. ‘I think I’ll always play Tracy Beaker.’
‘I’ve been so lucky that I’ve managed to do some really cool other stuff,’ she continued.
‘I know people probably think that I do just play Tracy Beaker, but I promise, I have done other things.
‘I’ve managed to play other characters, but nothing can beat Tracy to be honest because she’s such a wicked character.
‘I feel like even in my 80s I’ll be like, “Come on then!” I’ll bring my zimmer frame.’
My Mum Tracy Beaker is available to stream on BBC iPlayer.