What happens when the small screen beckons for your own little stars?


By some strange twist of genetics, my two eldest boys have started to display an interest in drama.

I’ve no idea who this comes from; the closest I ever got to a starring role was playing the chicken in our primary school version of The Wizard of Oz (remember him? No, me neither).

And while it’s not for a mother to assess how talented or otherwise their child is (at least not publicly, unless you want to be unbearable), I genuinely hadn’t given it much thought, except to be grateful that they were willing to give up precious time on the Xbox for it.

But this week, the ante was upped, when their drama teacher phoned to say they’d both been called for an audition for a TV advertising campaign for a major supermarket.

I knew they’d want to go for it - they still get a kick out of spotting themselves on the security cameras on the way into Debenhams, so the idea of national television was a no-brainer.

The biggest issue for me though, was managing their expectations, in the same way parents of kids who’ve been asked for trials with a premiership football team, or audition for the Royal Ballet probably have to do.

Having experienced neither, I could only stress repeatedly to the 7 year old that this was only an audition, he mustn’t get too excited, carried away or disappointed if (when) he wasn’t chosen.

His response to this speech was: ‘YESSSS! I’M GOING TO BE ON TV AND BE A MILLIONAIRE!

For my part, I was both flattered that they’d been asked, but a touch wary too. Partly, it has to be said, due to my preconceptions about the type of pushy, stage school mum involved in this kind of thing.

Not that I’d ever actually met a pushy, stage school mum.

But if I had, I knew I wouldn’t like her, at least not enough to BE her.

The other issue was where this was all going to lead. Was I really ready to have two child stars in my household? For all I knew, they could be the next Milky Bar Kids. And, if so, was this a hop, skip and jump from them presenting me with a litany of outlandish riders every night . . . Evian to bathe in, 12 white-stemmed lilies and an on-site acupuncturist?

Unfortunately for my boys, of the 50 other kids and their parents who also turned up, most seemed to have a clue what they were doing. This gave them an immediate advantage over us.

And although the director was very nice after their four minute improvisation, it was definitely a question of ‘don’t call us, we’ll call you.’

Predictably, we’re still waiting.


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