Jill Dando News celebrates five years of young reporters writing feel good stories

Reporters at Jill Dando News Centre celebrates their five year anniversary at Worle School. 

Reporters at Jill Dando News Centre celebrates their five year anniversary at Worle School. - Credit: Submitted

Schools across The Priory Learning Trust have celebrated their fifth year of young reporters carrying Jill Dando's legacy with feel good news. 

Children from both primary and secondary schools in Weston, Bridgwater and Highbridge have been sourcing and writing hundreds of positive stories in Jill's famous reporting style.

The reporters even have their own website called goodnewspost.co.uk.

The Jill Dando News Centre started life in 2017 at Jill's former school, Worle. The idea has since branched off and now dozens of schools across the country, and in Africa, have news centres in the former reporter's name. 

Reporters at Jill Dando News Centre celebrates their five year anniversary at Worle School. 

Reporters at Jill Dando News Centre celebrates their five year anniversary at Worle School. - Credit: Submitted

A special event to mark the occasion was held at Worle School on Thursday (July 7) with all the Priory group news centres. Children enjoyed luncheon and presented their hard work to guests including Jill's brother Nigel and former BBC journalist Emma Britton.

Some of the famous faces the young reporters have interviewed include outgoing prime minister Boris Johnson - on three occasions, - television presenter Fiona Bruce and a NASA astronaut. 

The first reporter for Jill Dando News was Olivia Finch who started when she was aged 12 alongside Joshua Keyes, who was 11-years-old. Both have had wide media experiences including live and recorded interviews, and hosting panels with world figures.

Reporters at Jill Dando News Centre celebrates their five year anniversary at Worle School. 

Reporters at Jill Dando News Centre celebrates their five year anniversary at Worle School. - Credit: Submitted

Olivia, now 17-years-old, and at the sixth form of The King Alfred School Academy, said: "Everyone who knew Jill mentioned that she always had a beaming smile on her face, and all the students at Jill Dando News try to adopt this.

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"We focus on good news to remember what she was like and what she did. She was the smiling face of Great Britain."

Nigel Dando and two young reporters at Jill Dando news at Worle School. 

Nigel Dando and two young reporters at Jill Dando news at Worle School. - Credit: Submitted

Nigel Dando said: "It’s quite remarkable what has happened at Jill Dando News in five years. The amount of interviews students have achieved include prime ministers, international sporting legends, best selling authors and more."

Weston born Jill Dando began her journalistic career at the Mercury as a trainee reporter in the 1980s before she quickly became noticed by the BBC, becoming the broadcaster's 'golden girl of TV'.

She followed in the footsteps of her father and brother Nigel, who also worked at the Mercury and BBC. 

In 1999, at the age of 37, she was brutally murdered on her doorstep. Her killer remains unknown to this day.