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Mrs Dawes by Fern Britton

A flamboyant art teacher encouraged the television presenter and author to succeed – even when others weren’t so supportive

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From 1968 to 1975, I attended Dr Challoner’s High School for girls, a state school, in Buckinghamshire, which is still flourishing. It’s the same school that Mrs Clooney [lawyer Amal Clooney, who is married to actor George] went to, many years after I left.

Mrs Helen Dawes was my favourite teacher at the school. She had absolutely bright red hair and this great Scottish accent. She was very flamboyant; she would flick her hair and shrug her shoulders. On every finger she had beautiful big rings and she would always wear something rather loose and arty, because she was an art teacher.

She ...

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