Behind the scenes at the 500 words final!

On Thursday 7th June after school we drove to London to stay in a hotel very close to Hampton Court Palace as we had to be on a coach at 5.30am on Friday morning. The BBC had booked the whole hotel so there were lots of families arriving with their children in school uniform having like us rushed there straight from school.

The alarm clock was set for 4.30am and with no chance to eat breakfast Mummy and I met the show organisers in hotel lobby to be security checked, given our wrist band passes and ushered onto a double decker bus with all the other finalists to be driven to the venue. We then met up with Emily and Daddy who had driven from the hotel to the venue. We were all seated together in Row D and were amazed how many people were queueing up to get into the open air concert. There were 50 finalists and their families at the front of the concert and an audience of around 3000 people.

A court jester warmed up the audience for a while and then Chris Evans came on stage to also warm up the audience and to run through some set pieces before they were live on air. At 7pm after the news headlines the Chris Evans Radio 2 Breakfast show was live from Hampton Court Palace and we had to cheer and clap every time Chris and the Court Jester raised their arms to signal it was ok to make lots of noise. We were encouraged to stand up and dance during the live music. The finalists all had reserved seating at the front which was to enable Vassos from Radio 2 to quickly run to where the winners were seated to interview them live on the radio. The bronze winner of the older age category was seated right behind Mummy!

The Duchess of Cornwall arrived in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang driven by Chris Evans who owns the car. All the children were asking for autographs from the celebrities and we also have some great photographs at a finalists drinks reception in the palace grounds afterwards.

When the event finished at 11.00am we were all quite tired and hungry so we had some much needed refreshments at a café and proceeded to spend a very enjoyable few hours going round the palace, learning about the Tudors and getting lost in the palace maze. But that’s another story…

All in all a fabulous day and one which none of us will ever forget.