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Mrs Morten and Mr Kent-Taylor on BBC1

Today, I am enormously proud and extremely privileged to release some hugely exciting news! For fourteen and a half nail-biting months, this spine-tingling, eyebrow-quivering information has been deliberately and carefully kept tightly under wraps (by express order of a robust, sharp-suited man with no sense of humour who knows where I live) and now, at last, it is out in the open - dancing joyfully into your lives like a recently cured agoraphobic with a large energy drink and a new pair of trainers.

 

Last year, the BBC chose to invest some of its hard-earned licence-payers' money in a brand-new, twelve-episode series of programmes called Great Leaders, Great Sports. This ground-breaking project was designed to celebrate and show off the personalities behind some of the many wonderful 'leadership teams' in operation across the UK.

 

Each programme will focus on leaders from one of an eclectic mix of institutions and establishments around the country including: a GPs' surgery in Telford; a fast food outlet in Croydon; a firm of bicycle and van couriers in Aberdeen; traffic wardens and car parking supervisors from Cardiff; a children's soft play area in Leeds; a firm of book binders in Carrickfergus, some funeral directors from Exeter; the head teacher and chair of governors from a small primary school in Cambridge.

 

Those of you who have not already fallen from your chair in shock, or passed out in sheer delight, will at this point be asking yourself the same question. Can it be true? Is this really happening? Well - the answer is a resounding "Yes" - the small Cambridge school is indeed Ridgefield Primary and the leaders in question are none other than our very own Mrs Anne Morten and Mr Stephen Kent-Taylor!

 

The first episode of this flagship series is due to air on BBC1 later in the year; it shows Mrs Morten and Mr Kent-Taylor taking part together in a range of amazing and dynamic activities such as kayaking, dancing the tango and free-fall parachuting! In between the breath-taking, high-definition action, more intimate footage shows them laughing and joking about the fun they have managing the school and how their close relationship and senses of humour help them to prevail in the face of any adversity.

 

My second-favourite part of the show (after the dazzling sequins, rich red roses and obvious passion of the tango dancing) is the part where children from the school are interviewed for the Things They Say section. The little darling at the cake sale who looks blankly at the camera for ten seconds, spits out chocolate muffin crumbs all over the presenter's shoes and runs away shrieking when asked about Mr Kent-Taylor's recent fact-finding 'walk-about' in Key Stage 1 is truly priceless. I also really enjoyed the bit where Mrs Morten's main parachute initially fails to open and we are exposed to some of her more colourful vocabulary (the kind of phrases that we imagine are normally reserved for the privacy of her office in the immediate aftermath of 'the call' from Ofsted).

 

Now I must stop, as I risk giving too much away and spoiling the spectacle. For full details of screening times, please check the upcoming TV schedules, but we understand that the series is likely to air in the autumn. In the meantime, please take every opportunity to stop Mrs Morten and Mr Kent-Taylor and congratulate them warmly for truly being: Great Leaders, Great Sports!

 

I regret that for commercial and copyright reasons photographs are not currently available. However, after the screening the school will install in the reception area a six-foot high glossy poster of the beaming couple staring deeply into each other's eyes during the final moments of their tango. I am sure you will agree that this is worth waiting for - a beautiful memento of what promises to be a truly memorable event.

 

 

 

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