BBC Radio 2 500 Words Competition Final: My Experience

Words & Images: Evie Fawcett-Greaves

After hearing about the 500 words competition at school, I was so excited to enter with my story ‘Her Surreal Dream’. Although my story didn’t make the final, I was lucky enough to be invited to the final of the competition.

On the day, me and my mum woke up at about 4:50 in the morning and got ready. We drove from the hotel to Hampton Court Palace and were directed to the correct car park by the very helpful BBC radio 2 staff. Then we parked up and walked over to the path at the side of the palace (next to the river Thames).

At the entrance we received our security wristbands and were shown through the gate. The security team checked our bags, they then allowed us to take our seats.

A jester entertained the audience while Chris Evans was getting ready. Chris Evans came on stage with his radio team. He told three jokes which were really funny. My favourite was ‘What bees produce the best milk?’…’Boobies’

We then did a quick run through of what would happen on the show and Chris told us when we had to cheer and shout ‘ooooooo’. The show started at 7am. Chris was very funny throughout his show and kept linking back to the studio for the news and travel to be read. Live music was sung by John Newman, Bastille and Alexandra Burke, who were all amazing (but John Newman was my favourite). The winners’ stories were all read out by celebrities such as Dara O’Briain, Jim Broadbent and Jason Isaacs but the most famous celeb there was David Walliams. My favourite story was ‘The Poo Fairy’, it was hilarious, and the message was about friendship. The Duchess of Cornwall arrived in the one and only Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and gave a brilliant speech.

After the show had finished the winners had a ride in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang to the Queen’s Royal Barge. Me and my Mum walked to the River Thames to see the boat. I was incredibly lucky as I was able to see Chitty Chitty Bang Bang up close. While I was having my picture taken next to Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Chris Evans, The Duchess of Cornwall and David Walliams returned to the car and I was in touching distance of them.

The Duchess of Cornwall waved to me and said hello. I was so amazed. It was such an amazing experience which I will never forget. I can’t wait to enter the competition next year and fully encourage any child from age 5 to 14 to enter.


Her Surreal Dream

By Evie Fawcett-Greaves

‘Am I asleep, or am I dreaming?’ Was the helpless question that rang aloud in her head.

The clothes she was wearing were old and worn. Why was she so tiny?

This place seemed so familiar, but it was stuck in the back of her mind. She could not think.

Suddenly, she saw a ghostly figure in the distance. Its silhouette lurked its way towards her.  Strangely, she was not scared. Billie felt she had seen this figure before and felt compelled to walk towards it.

The fog suddenly parted, she could see clearly now. The figure became visible. It was her grandfather. Billie stopped dead in her tracks.

Billie was confused, it was 1996 and her grandfather had died during World War Two. He was instantly recognisable even though she had only ever seen him in photographs. Billie’s grandfather was a very tall man and was wearing his army uniform. He looked exactly like the man Billie had seen in the pictures.

They hesitated for a moment, then Billie’s grandfather ran towards her shouting “Billie! You’re back!” Suddenly, she remembered. Billie used to visit him in her dreams. They hugged tightly and wept with joy.

“The village needs you!” her grandfather whispered. “What village?” She replied.

“Come on” he said, “there’s not much time”, he took Billie’s hand and led her towards the village in the distance.

The village was full of cottages and old shops. There was an old bomb that had landed right in the centre of the market. People were panicking and suddenly Billie shouted aloud “Don’t panic, I’ve got an idea”. Billie was surprised, where was this voice coming from? Did she really know what to do?

Billie grabbed her grandfather’s hand and led him towards the old derelict shed at the edge of the village. She frantically searched inside the shed, not knowing what she was looking for. Then she saw it, a bright glint in the corner of her eye. It was a beautiful golden chest. Billie moved towards it and gently opened the chest. Inside was a note, it read “Use your magic”. Beside it was a magical globe and Billie knew what to do.

Billie raced back to the market with the globe in her hands. She closed her eyes and said three times “I wish to banish this bomb”. The bomb disappeared into thin air, saving the village and all its people. Billie hugged her grandfather one last time and vowed to come back to see him again.

Suddenly, she woke. What a surreal dream! Was it truly real?