Educating Yorkshire’s Mr Mitchell: “Musharaf made us into who we are” chats to Thornhill Academy's Mr Burton, Mr Steer, pupil Musharaf and the headmaster backstage at the National Television Awards

It was arguably the television moment of the year – the spine-tingling few seconds when stammering Thornhill Academy pupil Musharaf donned his teacher Mr Burton’s headphones and found the power of speech. 


And according to headmaster Mr Mitchell, his young student got the biggest cheer when the duo stepped on stage with Mr Burton and Mr Steer to collect their award for best documentary series at last night’s National Television Awards. “It speaks volumes of why people tapped into why it was such a successful programme,” Thornhill’s head told backstage. 

Mr Burton – Musharaf’s English teacher – also had some words of praise for his former pupil. “That final episode really hit a chord with people because it’s not just a stammer – it signifies for me somebody overcoming adversity and getting past it and very rarely do you see people in such a tangible way click and get through that. 

“It’s about a young man who has got absolute integrity and is honest and a damn good character. It’s an award and it’s notoriety for trying hard and being the best you can possibly be.”

“Musharaf is going to dine out on this for years,” added Mr M. “We’re not talking a couple of years, we’re talking years. And we’re going to dine out on Musharaf at the end of the day. He’s made us into who we are.”