Entertainment & Arts

500 Words: Dua Lipa, David Walliams and other stars read stories for last final

Dua Lipa, the Duchess of Cornwall and David Walliams
Image caption L to R: Dua Lipa, the Duchess of Cornwall and David Walliams

Pop star Dua Lipa, David Walliams and other stars have helped Radio 2's Zoe Ball announce the winners of the final 500 Words story-writing competition.

Joanna Lumley and Jodie Whittaker also took to the airwaves on Friday to read out this year's winning entries.

Honorary judge the Duchess of Cornwall said she had been "blown away" by the submissions' "genius and creativity".

This year's contest was the last 500 Words, which Chris Evans launched in 2011 as Radio 2's breakfast host.

When Evans left the BBC to join Virgin Radio in 2018, he agreed for 500 Words to be produced and broadcast by Radio 2 for two further years.

The BBC said "a new listener-led initiative" would be created for 2021, details about which it would announce "in due course".

Image caption L to R: Alfred Enoch, Joanna Lumley and Jodie Whittaker

Six winning entries were read out during Ball's Radio 2 breakfast show on Friday, chosen from the 134,709 submissions received this year from children aged 5 to 13.

Dua Lipa read The Winning Goal, a story about a Syrian girl in a refugee camp who longs to be a footballer that was named the gold winner in the 5 to 9 age category.

Best-selling children's author Walliams put a voice to a fiver for The Diary of a £5 Note, which was crowned gold winner in the 10 to 13 age category.

Other winning stories were read by Harry Potter and Trust Me actor Alfred Enoch and Mwaka Mudenda, the latest addition to the Blue Peter presenting team.

TV duo Dick and Dom and Strictly Come Dancing's Oti Mabuse were among other stars who took part in the virtual final, held over video call app Zoom.

Coronavirus was selected by the Oxford University Press as the children's word of the year after featuring 459 times in this year's submissions.

Full details about this year's winning stories and writers can be found on the 500 Words website.

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