FErret

15th June 2007 at 01:00

Red faces, but a bright future To the west country, where Filton College is licking its wounds after one of its students made it into the Big Brother house - only to be swiftly ousted.

Even if you have more intelligent things to do with your time than watching the largely inconsequential Channel 4 fly-on-the-wall show, you are likely to have heard of Emily Parr, the 19-year-old performing arts student from Filton College.

Emily's selection for the show was something of which the college was clearly proud - judging by its press release celebrating the fact.

According to the college, Emily's philosophy is to "live life to the fullest, like it's your last." And who could argue with that?

Speaking before Emily put her foot in it and lost her place in the house, her tutor Steve Titchmarsh said: "After her stint on the hit TV show, I recommend she considers drama school, as I believe she has natural talent and, with training, could do well." Her "stint" ended abruptly, of course, when she used the "n-word" on air - setting in motion a predictable race row, with Emily herself appearing on the front of the red tops protesting that she wasn't being racist, and the usual "experts", such as other Big Brother participants, invited to contribute their insights into what had happened.

No doubt, there will be plenty of juicy offers for Emily's "story". But let's hope she follows her lecturer's advice and returns to education to finish her training as soon as possible. Then Filton College might have a former student it can really show off about.

In the meantime, it's red faces all round at a college eager to nail its reputation to Emily's expected stardom.

But it shouldn't worry. I suspect FE's contribution to race equality - in Filton and elsewhere - will continue to be widely appreciated long after the Emily Parr saga has been forgotten.

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