Star of ITV’s The Chase inspires pupils at talk

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THERE IS no substitute for hard work and it’s okay to completely mess up in public.

They were just some of the pearls of wisdom Anne Hegerty, star of ITV’s The Chase, shared with 100 pupils at Crookhorn College yesterday.

From left, Freddy Norman, Chloe Parsons and Lewis Curnow with Anne Hegerty ''Picture: Sarah Standing (161635-8910)

From left, Freddy Norman, Chloe Parsons and Lewis Curnow with Anne Hegerty ''Picture: Sarah Standing (161635-8910)

Known as The Governess on the show, Anne was invited to speak to the school’s More and Most Able pupils as part of the Distinguished Visitor Programme.

The knowledge expert spoke about her education, work, and the challenges she’s faced in life – including having Asperger’s syndrome as a young girl.

The Chaser took the pupils on a journey through her educational life, and described how she went from loving Shakespeare, to being a journalist and on the quiz show Eggheads, to where she is now.

During her talk, Anne said: ‘It’s okay to completely mess up in public, because more than likely, people won’t actually care or even notice.

‘There’s no substitute for hard work – put the hours in, none of that time is wasted.’

Speaking after the talk, she added: ‘I was delighted to speak to the children and I was flattered to be asked.

‘They seemed really interested and engaged, they had lots of questions.

‘I wanted to speak about Asperger’s because it is a disability, but there are things it can give you.

‘It’s a question of finding out what strengths you can take from having it.’

Anne, who is playing Blackweed in Jack and the Beanstalk at the Kings Theatre in Southsea at the moment, followed Havant MP Alan Mak and Heather Mills as a distinguished visitor.

After Christmas Adam Kettle-Williams, the former ambassador to Hungary, will visit the children.

Sarah Bennett, the school’s headteacher, said: ‘The talk was brilliant. What it really taught the children was to chase their dreams and never give up.

‘It’s about taking whatever opportunity comes along and making the most of it, and that is really important for our children to understand.’

James Collins, deputy headteacher at Crookhorn College, said: ‘We set this programme up to inspire our students to have high aspirations.

‘We asked Anne specifically because a lot of the children watch The Chase, and associate her with being a strong, intelligent woman.

‘The response to the programme so far has been amazing, it’s enjoyed by all.’

The school is aiming to invite a distinguished visitor to speak to the pupils once a month or every half-term.

Other pupils can also participate if they wish.