Alfred Enoch: A Pro at Reading Children’s Stories and Impersonating Flies
If you live in the United Kingdom, you surely must know of the 500 Words story-writing competition on BBC Radio 2 that gives young writers between the ages of 5 and 13 the opportunity to showcase their talent. Due to the coronavirus, this year’s winners were announced via a very special virtual event, and some amazing guests took part in the celebration of the young writers’ work. One of them was Alfred Enoch, who portrayed the role of Dean Thomas in the Harry Potter films.
The 500 Words contest celebrated its tenth birthday this year, and the number of entries has grown along with the competition’s age – 134,709 children submitted their writing. This is also the last year the competition was run. Chris Evans, who used to be Radio 2’s breakfast host, first launched the competition in 2011. He gave the radio permission to continue running it for two more years after he left the station for Virgin Radio in 2018.
Rise and shine! ☀️
It’s time to celebrate 10 years of #500Words with 2020’s virtual final! 📚🚀✨
— BBC Radio 2 (@BBCRadio2) June 12, 2020
Six winning pieces were read on the Radio 2 Breakfast Show hosted by Zoe Ball. Among those who read the winning stories were Harry Potter alumnus Alfred Enoch, pop star Dua Lipa, comedian David Walliams, and even the Duchess of Cornwall, who said that she was blown away by the genius and creativity from the various submissions.
Enoch read the bronze-winning story in the 10–13 age category, named Shoo! by Lola B. He did an incredible job of bringing the characters of the story to life – we’d love to have him read us stories anytime. Shoo! is a story about a fly that just graduated from Bluebottle Academy and the adventures that follow. Enoch’s rendition makes you feel like you are actually listening to a fly telling you a story, which takes some doing. You can watch the video of Enoch reading the story, and you’ll see what we mean.
With the 500 Words story-writing competition doing so well for the past 10 years, Radio 2 is planning on launching “a new listener-led initiative” for 2021. No details have been given about this yet, but the BBC promised to make an announcement in due course. We think bringing in stars like Enoch is an amazing addition, and hopefully, this initiative will be carried over to the new competition.