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29 October 2014
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Hard Spell
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Spelling is compelling!


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 of millions.

"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 Hard Spell.

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.

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