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BAFTA Young Presenters at Cheltenham Literature Festival

31 October 2023

In July this year, we announced the winners of the 2023 Young Presenters competition, Elsie Adams and Precious Assah, who wowed our judging panel with their skills and personalities. This was the beginning of a year-long programme of exciting opportunities for the talented pair, who have been travelling the country interviewing talent for Young BAFTA and making appearances on BAFTA red carpets. Here's an update on their first assignment, by Lisa Prime, BAFTA's head of Children & Young People.

Elsie and Precious' first assignment was at The Times and Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival. They honed their public speaking skills by introducing writer talks and getting exclusive access to The Writers’ Room where they were able to meet authors, broadcasters and journalists and seek advice on interview technique. 


Elsie (11) from Edinburgh was particularly excited to chat with BAFTA Special Award winner, Dame Jacqueline Wilson and wildlife presenter Yamza Hassin, also known for his dancing talents on Strictly Come Dancing.  She introduced a variety of talks including Dr Ranj’s A Superfamily Like Ours and In the Shadow of the Wolf Queen by Kiran Millwood Hargrave.  In her introductions, Elsie shared with audiences her experience of dyslexia and how audio books enhance her love of storytelling.

“Cheltenham was one of the best experiences I have ever had in my short little life. I enjoyed literally all of it and got to meet some wonderful people. I wish I could go back every year but that’s for future young presenters. If I didn’t want to be a presenter, I would be an author. Cheltenham was a spectacular learning experience. I highly recommend it!”

Precious (18) has just started a journalism degree at De Montfort University, Leicester.  The Festival created tailored opportunities for Precious to talk with a variety of broadcasters and journalists including Sathnam Sanghera, Matt Chorley and Masuma Ahuja. 

Still Moving Media for Cheltenham Festivals

“Having just started my journalism course, the whole weekend was an invaluable experience. Highlights included meeting Selina Brown, founder of the Black British Book Festival; introducing Mary Beard to 850 guests in the Town Hall to talk about her new book, Emperor of Rome; and introducing Sathnam Sanghera to a younger audience to discuss his latest book exploring What Is An Empire? I met such great people from different backgrounds but they all shared a love of words.  It was an honour to be part of this incredible festival and I’m so blessed to have crossed paths with such genuine people that have a passion for what they do.”

Huge thanks to Loraine Evans (Family & Schools Programme Manager) and Sharna Jackson (author and Festival advisory group) for creating such unique and inspiring opportunities for Elsie and Precious and immersing them in a hub of creativity.

Elsie with Hamza Yassin and Precious with Sathnam Sanghera