A pawsome visit from Dermot O’Leary

Avid readers in the Junior school enjoyed a purr-fect start to their morning when they were joined by one of the UK’s best loved broadcasters, X Factor and BBC Radio 2 presenter, Dermot O’Leary.

Visiting CHS to launch his new book series Toto the Ninja Cat, the pupils – joined by primary school pupils from around the region – heard about the real-life Toto, rescued as a kitten along with her brother Silver by Dermot and his wife, Dee.

During morning and afternoon sessions hosted by CHS in collaboration with Simply Books, Dermot showed photos of his pets, spoke of why his love of Victorian England gave the story its Victoriana theme and how the animal characters display traits of his friends and the famous.

Dermot told how his neighbour’s kitten, George wandered into the giraffe enclosure at London Zoo which inspired the story’s setting and the pupils were given a masterclass in sketching the central character with illustrator, Nick East.

Between the sessions, Dermot met CHS Sixth Form students with an interest in pursuing a career in the media. In a Q&A he told them not to underestimate the importance of work experience and to make the most of every opportunity.