Louise Redknapp's teacher in global prize top 50
A teacher who taught Strictly Come Dancing finalist Louise Redknapp is in the top 50 shortlist for the annual Global Teacher Prize.
Peter Ferris, now teaching drama in Belfast, is one of four UK teachers included in the shortlist for a $1m (£790,000) prize.
Mr Ferris taught Louise Redknapp at the Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts in London.
There were more than 20,000 teachers nominated from 179 countries.
Mr Ferris, who grew up in Northern Ireland during the Troubles, went to the drama school as a student - and then went on to become a teacher there.
Among his students, as well as Louise Redknapp, were performers including Russell Brand, Claire Sweeney and Martine McCutcheon.
He is currently teaching at the Mercy College in Belfast.
The award, run by the Varkey Foundation, is intended to recognise the importance of teaching and to help raise the public status of the profession.
There are three other UK teachers in the running for this year's prize, which will be announced next March.
Adnan Mahmood, a business and enterprise tutor from Barking and Dagenham College, London; Nathan Atkinson, head teacher at Richmond Hill School, Leeds, and Raymond Chambers, a computer science teacher from Brooke Weston Academy in Corby, Northamptonshire.
The current holder of the Global Teacher Prize is Hanan Al Hroub, who grew up in a Palestinian refugee camp and is now a teacher of refugees herself.
Her win was announced at an awards ceremony in Dubai, with video messages from Pope Francis and Prince William.
UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, said the prize was a recognition of the importance of teachers.
"I count my teachers as among the most influential people in my life. Teachers are entrusted with nurturing the potential of the young and helping them blossom as productive and responsible members of society.
"It is hard to underestimate their value."
The founder of the Varkey Foundation, Sunny Varkey, said the prize would help to "return teachers to their rightful position as one of the most respected professions in society".
He said the number of nominations from "every corner of the planet is testimony to the achievements of teachers and the enormous impact they have on all of our lives".