Thank God It's Friday

19th January 1996 at 00:00
Monday: The week has finally arrived. Six months after my initial contact with Channel 4, a six-minute film about my visit to South Africa is due to be shown on Wednesday. It's for The Real Holiday Show and includes about 10 seconds of me in action in the classroom.

The school secretary has seen a brief article in our local paper about the programme. At home time, when the children are discussing television, I say casually "You can watch me on Wednesday". "You were in the paper too," says Jessica. So, that's a readership of two.

Tuesday: The newspaper cutting has been pinned up on the staffroom wall between the school development plan and the space where the "Nominate your Sulkiest Child" list used to be before it was taken down by the head. She has some worries about the programme, having seen some previous rather debauched episodes. I reassure her that my real holiday is, by contrast, a very serious look at the demise of apartheid.

Wednesday: The article, now taking on a life of its own, has been photocopied and put on classroom windows for parents to see, with the additional headline "A Star is Born." Flattered though I am, I can't help feeling this is a tiny bit over the top, especially when Morse will be on the other side.

One child says that Morse looks a better bet because it's got a skull in it. My colleague tells him that Miss Young's film is about Africa and there are lots of skulls lying about there.

Family and friends gather round to watch the programme and I'm relieved to see that the glass of wine I was holding on the set is not too obvious.

Thursday: The children's reaction is intriguing. Some rush up shouting, "I saw you on TV last night." Others look at me, most unusually, with something ap-proaching awe. The deputy says that I looked quite animated. No doubt in contrast to my usual expression in staff meetings.

By the afternoon the children's awe has been replaced by their normal laissez faire opinion of me. "Get on with your work Leigh," I say for the third time. Six-year-old Leigh gives me a sweet look. "You don't want to get married and you're quite happy with your life at the moment," she states matter-of- factly. I wonder about the wisdom of doing a Diana on national TV.

One of the parents asks whether it really was me in the jogging-along-the- beach scene. No doubt they thought I'm not up to it, having seen me trying to keep up with reception on sports afternoon.

Friday: No long-term job offers have come in from the small screen. This means I will still be at the school when OFSTED arrives in the summer, so I decide to get on with some teaching.

Wayne a child of the nineties writes, "Mary had a partner who was called God."

One of the dinner ladies, who has been avoiding my eye for two days, finally admits she fell asleep during the programme.

At four o clock I leave for Tesco. My fifteen minutes of fame is over and the science scheme of work still has to be written.

Roz Young is a class teacher at Rectory Farm Lower School, Northampton.

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