Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

Television - 'People Bought Me Beer. It Was Good': News

Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

Television - 'People Bought Me Beer. It Was Good': News

Article excerpt

Mr Mitchell on the unexpected rewards of Educating Yorkshire.

He had expected a bigger public profile, even a few hurtful comments, but what Jonny Mitchell did not expect was what happened on a Friday night out in Leeds.

The headteacher from the North of England, who found fame in Channel 4's hit fly-on-the-wall television series Educating Yorkshire, has described how a trip to the pub after episode three led to him being "ridiculously mobbed" by drunken fans.

And he has even confessed to enjoying the experience.

"We were just mobbed, I mean ridiculously mobbed. It was outrageous," Mr Mitchell said in an interview with TES. "That was the first time the impact of the programme really hit home.

"We went out at about 7 o'clock, and people weren't that drunk, obviously, and very respectful, asking for photographs," he said. "But then, by 10pm, people are rugby tackling you to the floor, pouring things in your face and buying you beer and what have you. I have to admit, it was quite good - but I haven't done it since."

Earlier this year, the headteacher of Thornhill Community Academy, a small state secondary school in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, agreed to allow a TV crew into his school to capture every pulled face, every teenage meltdown and every success story for the rest of the country to see.

The eight-part series, which finished at the end of last month, was one of the most successful shows of the year in Britain. The rights to the programme have now been bought by a Dutch production house, which plans to make Educating Amsterdam in the near future.

Programme maker Twofour is also producing a Christmas special, following up the "storylines" of key characters such as chronic stammerer Mushy and the eyebrow-shaving Bailey (pictured left). Whereas many fans will be rubbing their hands with glee at the prospect of more Educating Yorkshire, Mr Mitchell said he would not want to go through the "roller coaster" again. …

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