CHILDREN'S television star Gemma Hunt appears to have fallen head over heels with the Isle of Wight after making her live appearance at Newport's Riverfest.

Gemma, a star of BBC's CBeebies franchise, attracted a big audience for her Swashbuckle show at the big free event yesterday (Saturday).

The show was interactive and family-friendly, with lots of singing, dancing and games, with an emphasis on having lots of pirate fun.

Isle of Wight County Press:

Isle of Wight County Press:

Riverfest was an event which really impressed Gemma, who said: "It's a great way to make it accessible for everybody, being free. It has lots to offer — lots of great attractions.

"There are so many great communities represented at it."

Unlike most artists invited to the Island, who normally spend just the day over for a show, Gemma enjoyed the best part of four days with her husband and young daughter. 

Although Gemma and her husband came to the Island with their parents as youngsters, this was the first time they had come over as a family.

"It's a great place to come for families. My husband and I came here as kids, so we went to places like The Model Village in Godshill," she said.

"My husband said 'I've definitely been here before — it's all coming back to me'.

"And this is great for our seven-year-old daughter, who as making memories for her own future too.

"The Island hasn't changed much, but it somehow feels bigger. As an adult you have more choice of places to go to, whereas when you're kids, you're taken to wherever your parents go."

Isle of Wight County Press:

Gemma is also a big fan of places to eat on the Island.

"There's just so much variety. The food is amazing. We were eating our way around the place — and loving it," Gemma enthused.

"We went to The Garlic Farm (in Newchurch) on Friday and we ate our body weight in garlic, then to The Bargeman's Rest (in Newport) for dinner."

When asked if she would return to the Island, Gemma said: "Absolutely! We've already said we want to come back and stay in a different part of the Island, so we can explore."