Card invention to feature on Channel 4 Christmas show
An eight-year-old girl from Radlett, in Hertfordshire, who invented a popular card game that is benefiting disabled children across the UK, is to feature on a Channel 4 Christmas show.
Summer Phillips was enjoying a holiday in Turkey with her parents, Mark and Natalie, and seven-year-old sister Lacey, when she was inspired by the traditional card games that she had been playing around the pool to invent a new game.
Her parents, and other holiday makers in the hotel, were so taken by the game that when the family returned to the UK, Mark and Natalie decided to develop the game commercially.
After bosses at Channel 4 heard about her exciting new invention they invited her to appear on the company’s popular Buy It Now TV series.
As a result, Summer recently visited the broadcasters London studios to record an episode of Buy It Now For Christmas, hosted by the television personality and former The X Factor star Rylan.
The show will be aired at 8.00pm on Thursday 28th November, 2019, and will be the first episode in a new four-part series.
Understandably, Summer is extremely excited about the transmission of the programme. As she explained: “It was brilliant being in front of the cameras at the studio but I can’t wait to see the programme on television.
“I’m also really excited to see how the show affects sales because for every pack we sell we’ve started to donate a pack to Caudwell Children, the charity that supports disabled children, which is really important to me.”
Established in 2000 Caudwell Children provide emotional and practical support to disabled children and their families. To date they have helped over 45,000 children, with 652 conditions, at a cost of over £43,000,000.
“The cards that the charity receives are used by, and then given to, the children who attend their activity days around the country,” enthused Summer. “They’re also given to children who attend sessions at the Caudwell International Children’s, the charity’s new headquarters.”
To date the cards have sold over 7,000 packs and Mark says that his daughter is determined to help disabled children through sales of the product. He said: “Summer has a very caring nature and she was conscious that she wanted to help others.
“She researched a number of charities that she wanted to support before suggesting that for every pack sold she would donate a pack to Caudwell Children.”
Luckily Mark and Natalie run Kids Happy House, an online company that sells an assortment of goods for babies and toddlers. And with Mark’s sales background, and his wife’s vast logistical knowledge, developed whilst working for her family’s company, some would argue that it was no surprise when Summer’s invention became such a success.
However, Mark, aged 43, is keen to stress that even with his expertise, and his wife’s experience, the pair wouldn’t have developed the card game if they hadn’t believed that it would be successful.
“Rest assured if we didn’t believe in the game we wouldn’t have produced it,” exclaimed Mark. “It’s a really simple concept which makes it a game that’s really easy to play so it’s suitable for the whole family.”
Having invented the game Summer proceeded to show her parents how to play it.
“Summer used two packs of cards and took out the face cards,” explained Mark. “She then dealt nine cards to each player before placing the rest of the cards in the middle and turning over the top card.
“If, for example, a seven is turned over the player who goes first has to put down a six. If they do this the next player has to put down a five.
“If a player can’t put a card down card they have to pick a card up.”
Once the cards get to zero players have to start the process again by putting a nine down. The winner is the first player to be left with no cards.
To make the game more challenging Summer used only four zeros and included two wild cards.
Summer, who is a pupil at Edge Grove School near Watford, enjoyed meeting Rylan. As she exclaimed: “I love watching him on Supermarket Sweep so I couldn’t wait to meet him, and he really put me at ease, telling me to ignore the cameras and just have a good time.”
Natalie, aged 37, said that her daughter had a fabulous experience recording the show. “Summer is the only child to have ever appeared on the show but Rylan looked after her,” she explained. “I have to say it was really funny listening to them chatting away about Supermarket Sweep.”
Mark Bushell, from Caudwell Children, is keeping his fingers crossed ahead of Summer’s appearance on the show. As he explained: “The series sees inventors having just 90 seconds to pitch their idea to an audience of shoppers.
“One hundred people in the audience have a voting handset and if the inventor manages to impress at least one they then get to pitch to a panel of big-name retailers who can make a bulk order.
“In the last series one seller successfully pitched an invention for tired feet that went on to secure a retail order worth over £225,000!
“So who knows Summer could be set for big things and Caudwell Children could be in line for even more sets of cards that will be enjoyed by disabled children, and those with additional needs, throughout the UK.”