Tom Hiddleston hits right note at 500 Words creative writing final

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Lucille Barrett
Lucille Barrett
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Hiddleston, who is widely touted to be in the running to take over the role of James Bond from Daniel Craig, was tight-lipped when Evans asked him: “What have you been reading?

Anything by Ian Fleming? Just checking.”

He was joined by stars including Julie Walters, Andy Serkis, and Nick Jonas to read out the winning stories in the competition, which were announced during Evans’ Radio 2 breakfast show broadcast live from the theater.

The competition asked children aged 13 and under to compose an original work of fiction under the word limit to promote literacy and encourage them to explore their creativity.

Hiddleston read out the story that won the silver prize in the 10 to 13 years category, The Sands Of Time by Clara Cowan, 10, from Glasgow. In comparison, Serkis read out the silver winner in the five to nine years category, The Grannies Who Flew To The Moon by Katie Denyer, nine, from Surrey.

Walters read out the gold medal-winning story from the five to nines, Poor Pig’s Revenge by Evie Fowler, nine, from Kent, and Jonas read by Ned Marshall from mid-Wales, who won in the 10 to 13 category.

The bronze winners were The Great Cookie Quest by Ben Bailey, 10, from Gloucestershire, and The Smoking Pipe by Fergus Gathorne-Hardy, eight, from Suffolk. The stories were read by Harry Potter actor Warwick Davis and Game Of Thrones star Raleigh Ritchie.

Walking out on stage to present the gold medal winners with their prizes, honorary judge the Duchess of Cornwall said: “I don’t think I’ve ever been on this stage, I’ve watched from the boxes, but it’s quite frightening to be up here. I think I would rather be down there.”

Dressed in a cream dress by Artigiano, she added: “I’ve never seen such brilliant stories. My grandchildren were going to write a story, but I saw some of them, and they didn’t quite match up. Perhaps next year, they will put in a better one.”

The senior royal, who rarely speaks in front of cameras, said there was no better place to celebrate creative writing than at the Globe in Shakespeare’s 400th anniversary year.

Camilla, transformed into an animated character to help launch the competition in January, told the children: “I just want to reassure you that this is the real me here this morning.

“I’m afraid I’m a little bit older than my cartoon character.”

She added: “Even though he was a genius, everyone here has one thing in common with Shakespeare – we all love words.

“When I was thinking about what to say to you today, and when you were writing your stories, we all chose our words really carefully. We wanted to find just the right one. For all of us, words are building blocks and Lego bricks; they can be the color and size that we want.”


After the ceremony, Walters said she thought her story had the best line, saying: “It was such a brilliant line, I’m not sure I was worthy of it. It was heaven. ”

She added: “This competition is really brilliant, it is so important to encourage imagination.”

She also revealed her unexpected love of emojis, saying she fills her phone memory with new symbols but prefers the traditional heart and knife and fork above all others.

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