Hartlepool school nativity play in line for national TV broadcast after pupils make final of Virgin competition

A Hartlepool school pupils council become little stars after being shortlisted in the final of Virgin TV's national Christmas play competition.

Tuesday, 4th December 2018, 5:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 4th December 2018, 6:50 am
Pupils from Stranton Primary School.

Stranton Primary School's Christmas play, called ‘The Bethlehem Floss’ could be taken from the school hall to millions of TV screens across the UK after being named as a finalist in Virgin TV’s Christmas Stars competition.

The school entered their nativity into the competition and it has been shortlisted as a finalist, which means the play could be professionally filmed and made available to four million Virgin TV customers in the days leading up to Christmas.

As part of the money-can’t-buy-prize, the winners will work with popular TV entertainer, Stephen Mulhern, who will join the school’s cast playing the role of narrator for a one-off performance.

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The winning school will also receive £5,000, while a runner up will be awarded £1,000. Twenty two schools will also be awarded £100 for reaching the final stage of the competition.

In response to the competition entry question, “Why should your Christmas play be made available to four million Virgin TV customers this Christmas?”, the school entered their Christmas play called ‘The Bethlehem Floss’.

The play promises to provide a modern twist on the nativity story featuring Mary and Joseph who enter a ‘floss off’ competition when they arrive in Bethlehem.

In their entry, the school said they deserved to win because: “Stranton Primary is in one of the most deprived areas of the country.

“Our Christmas performances are a magnificent way of connecting with the local community, family and friends and involving them with school. It give parents the opportunity to come into school and be proud of their children acting which plays a huge part in helping their children grow as individuals and learn skills such as co-operation, self-confidence, communication and turn taking.

“It is time for the children to shine and we would love for Stephen Mulhern to come and join our performance and give our families a Christmas to remember.”

David Bouchier, Chief Digital Entertainment Officer at Virgin Media, said: “A huge congratulations to Stranton Primary School for reaching the final stage of our magical Christmas Stars competition.

“Their production has the perfect ingredients for a feel-good festive play which could be enjoyed by millions of Virgin TV customers this Christmas.

“We’ve now got the tough task of choosing a winner from our fantastic finalists – good luck Stranton Primary School!”

A panel of judges comprising of members of Virgin Media’s Executive Committee, Stephen Mulhern, and Lisa Prime, BAFTA Children’s Events Programmer, are set to preside over the shortlist and select the winner and runner up.

Virgin Media will then film the school’s production and make it available, on-demand, to millions of Virgin TV customers this Christmas.