Hard Spell - BBC ONE, Monday 29 November to Friday 3 December
at 7.00pm and Sunday 5 December at 8.00pm
Spelling just got compelling! That's the view of thousands of children
up and down the UK who've risen to the challenge of becoming Britain's
best young speller.
During the summer, over 100,000 youngsters, aged 11 to 14, got organised
and began swotting, ready to take part in the regional heats of BBC
ONE's Hard Spell initiative.
Now five of the best spellers from each of the 10 UK heats have made
it to the national stages of the competition to compete in the final,
but only one will be crowned Hard Spell champion.
Karen Smith, Hard Spell executive producer, describes the show as,
"TV on a national scale, something that people can watch and join in
with, testing themselves against the children.
"Hard Spell will have that buzz and excitement for the children
taking part and, like Spellbound (the American documentary), we will
be following the nerves, the excitement and success of the children
and their parents in the audience, making for really compelling viewing."
Hard Spell isn't for the meek: not only has the challenge called for
the best spellers in the UK to step forward, but also for competitors
who can handle the pressure.
And for the televised national heats it's not going to be any easier
- spellers will have to contend with the unfamiliar surroundings of
the studio, lights and cameras and the pressure of spelling in front
"Gutted", "terrifying" and "unbelievable" were just some of the feelings
captured on film at the regional heats in October.
Hard Spell follows the stories of the spellers and their families,
from attending their regional heat to making it through to the final.
Viewers can live through the trials, the anguish and the ecstasy of
the nation's best spellers as they compete for the top spot and experience
the emotional rollercoaster that is Hard Spell.
The champion will win a fabulous holiday for themselves and their family,
thousands of pounds worth of media equipment for their school and, of
course, the Hard Spell Trophy.
David Butler, Chief Executive of the National Confederation
of Parent Teacher Associations (NCPTA), is supporting
Mr Butler comments: "The NCPTA is always interested
in new ways of improving literacy and we think the multi-platform approach
of Hard Spell is a brilliant way of doing just this."
Hard Spell has the backing of Schools Minister Stephen
Twigg, who says: "Anything which helps raise the awareness of the hard
work pupils put into spelling is a good thing."
For younger viewers, Hard Spell Abbey will be broadcast
during the same week (Monday 29 November-Friday 3 December) on CBBC
ONE at 4.10pm daily and on the CBBC Channel at 8.30am daily.