Downton Abbey star Hugh Bonneville honours two West Sussex children in new role

Downton Abbey star Hugh Bonneville took on a new role when he was filmed reading winning stories from two West Sussex schoolchildren.

Wednesday, 8th September 2021, 5:06 pm
Actor Hugh Bonneville reads the winning short stories written by West Sussex schoolgirls

The children - seven-year-old Ottie Smith from Shipley near Horsham, and Holly Lambert, 11, from Amberley - were winners of a short story competition held by the South Downs National Park.

Famed actor Hugh - also known for his role in the Paddington movies - read out the youngsters’ stories on a visit to the South Downs Centre in Midhurst.

“I was delighted to read the winning entries for the MADhurst short story competition, inspired by the South Downs and the wonderful landscape of the National Park. Thank you to everyone who entered,” he said.

More than 140 young people from across the region took part in the competition, part of the MADhurst annual music, arts and dance festival.

Seven-year-old Ottie Smith, who attends Windlesham House School in Washington, won the five to nine years category. She impressed judges with her short story entitled ‘A South Downs Adventure: City Girl to Country Girl.’

Ottie said: “I was so happy to hear that I’d won a prize! It’s the longest story I’ve ever written and took me over a week to finish, working in break time and after school.

“I started with the idea of the town mouse and country mouse and that made me think of my move here three years ago and all the new adventures I’ve had.

Ottie Smith, seven

“My great grandparents lived in Midhurst so it feels very special to be part of the festival.”

Holly Lambert, 11, who attends Midhurst Rother College, was winner of the 10 to 13 years category with her story ‘A Place To Remember.’

She said: “I was shocked to win first prize but was very excited to hear I had.

“The inspiration for my story was from living in Amberley which is where I’ve lived since I was born and the nature surrounding the village, the beautiful buildings particularly St Michael’s Church and the friendly people.”

Winner of the 14 to 18 years category was 14-year-old Jude Tedder, from Alton in Hampshire who penned ‘A reflection at the end of the world’, inspired by the splendour of Seven Sisters.