James Norton is to read a CBeebies Bedtime Story about diabetes.

The Happy Valley actor, who has type 1 diabetes, will read How to Manage a Mammoth, a story which aims to help families deal with a diagnosis.

The story encourages children to think of the condition as an animal, something which won’t go away but which they can learn to manage.

It focuses on eight-year-old Jake, who sees his diabetes as an imaginary mammoth called Mel. With the help of his mum and friends, they try to shrink the mammoth so it isn’t so big.

Norton said that he also thinks of his diabetes like an animal – and that his diabetes is a “big shaggy dog” called Bruce, who is now a “pal”.

“When I first got Bruce, he was a puppy. He was difficult to control because he was always overexcited. Now, he’s a bit older and calmer,” he said.

“He still gets scared when someone’s at the door or he’s hungry. And then he barks very loudly.

“Or when he gets excited, he still runs around and knocks things over. But generally he strolls along by my side.

“Bruce is my pal. I’m pleased to say that today Bruce is under control and very calm, which makes me feel very happy and relaxed.”

Speaking to the BBC last year, Norton explained how he manages diabetes while he’s performing, saying he has glucose shots and food hidden on stage to allow him to control his blood sugar levels during long performances.

How To Manage A Mammoth, written by Dr Rose Stewart, and illustrated by Richard Dwyer, was created in collaboration with NHS Wales.

James Norton’s CBeebies Bedtime Story will air on CBeebies at 6.50pm on Friday 14 June.

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