The day the stars came to English Martyrs

Jill Gascoigne, left, with Bryan Marshall, also seated, during their interview at English Martyrs.

Jill Gascoigne, left, with Bryan Marshall, also seated, during their interview at English Martyrs.

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It’s not often you get a VIP visitor to your school lessons.

But that was the treat that sixth form students at English Martyrs in Hartlepool enjoyed in October 1981.

Lessons were brightened up at English Martyrs School when the sixth form had two rather special visitors

Mail reporter

Head teacher David Relton heard that his old school friend Bryan Marshall was starring at the Forum Theatre in Billingham.

David invited Bryan and his co-star Jill Gascoigne to come to the school and be interviewed by pupils for the school magazine.

It proved to be a memorable moment for students Sean Boyd and Kathrine Meggison who got to do the interview.

At the time, Bryan was famed for appearances in programmes such as Warship while Jill was a star of The Gentle Touch.

Both told the pupils of their struggle to get to the top while Bryan spoke of his friendship with David which stretched back to the days when he was in the same class as David’s brother at Salesian College in Battersea;.

It was a chance for them to renew acquaintances after 25 years as well as an opportunity for the students to test out their interview skills.

Jill told the pupils that one of her greatest joys in acting was when the audience appreciated a good play.

She also said at the time: “The audiences in the North seem to be more responsive than those in the South.”

The two stars were appearing in The Gentle Trap at the Forum at the time.

Who remembers their visit to the school.

Contact us and tell us more. Email chris.cordner@jpress.co.uk