YouTube lifestyle personality Charis Ow is Disney Channel’s new Head Mouseketeer, but she was initially ineligible for the role. BIBI NURSHUHADA RAMLI finds out why.

AT 26, Charis Ow isn’t within the stipulated age range to be considered a host (or more fondly known as a Mouseketeer) for Disney Channel’s new variety show, Club Mickey Mouse.

But the YouTube blogger, singer and actress was personally invited to audition anyway and eventually won the role of a Head Mouse- keteer. Talk about luck!

“I was sceptical at first because they were looking for someone aged between 20 and 25,” Ow told the New Straits Times at the series’ launch at Slate @ The Row on Wednesday.

“So when I got the call, I knew that I just couldn’t afford to blow the chance, especially because this is for Disney, and I’m a huge fan.”

Ow is one of the seven newly-selected Mouseketeers for Club Mickey Mouse, the localised version of Disney Channel’s famed kids programme, The Mickey Mouse Club, which produced many popular American stars such as singers Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake and Christina Aguilera, and actor Ryan Gosling.

The Malaysian version which will be bilingual, will feature music, comedy, games and celebrity guest appearances that include actress Nur Fazura Sharifuddin, actor Fattah Amin and award-winning hip-hop artiste Joe Flizzow.

The other Mouseketeers are Ahmad Faiz Najib, 15, and Nur Alianatsha Hanafi, 14, who were winners of the Club Mickey Mouse Star Search, as well as Dheena Menon Jayadeep, 13, Erissa Puteri Hashim, 14, Mohd Wafiy Ilhan Johan, 15, and Gabriel Noel Pountney, 16, who were discovered through casting calls.

As the Head Mouseketeer, Ow acts as their leader. Although she is more than a decade older than the rest, she doesn’t have any trouble fitting in.

“We treat each other like family, so I’m like their big sister. We bonded really well on set and it was so much fun for all of us.”

“It was easy for me to work with kids because I’ve been doing so since I was young. I was active at Sunday School and church, and I also volunteered at a refugee school. So, it was pretty natural.”

Since The Mickey Mouse Club has kickstarted the career of several American artistes, she is hoping the same for Club Mickey Mouse.

“Having Disney in my resume tops everything I’ve achieved in my life,” said Ow, who enjoys reviewing beauty products.

The Mickey Mouse Club premiered in 1955 in the United States and has been revived and reformatted over the decades to remain relevant to television audiences.

Club Mickey Mouse airs on Fridays at 1.30pm on Disney Channel (Astro Channel 615) beginning Friday.

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