Fancy a story read by Benedict Cumberbatch or Hugh Bonneville?


Yet one more reason why I think the UK is a continual source of amazement.

It seems that BBC Radio 2 was THE place to be yesterday as The Chris Evans Breakfast Show hosted six very talented youngsters who won this year’s 500 Words competition. The annual contest challenges children to write an entire story in just 500 words. This year there were a record 118,632 entries, with judges having to choose a top three in two age categories: nines and under and 10-13 years of age. This year’s judges were Top Gear‘s Richard Hammond, Frank Cottrell Boyce, Malorie Blackman, Charlie Higson and Francesca Simon.

The Gold, Silver and Bronze medal winners in each age category (9 & under and 10-13) were announced Friday at the Hay Literary Festival. As if this wasn’t cool enough to have the 50 finalists present to find out who won, the top 3 stories in each age group were read by some pretty amazing talent in their own right, all of whom not only lent their talents and voices but strongly recognize the value of tapping into a child’s imagination and to encourage creativity.
 
Benedict Cumberbatch and Hugh Bonneville read 500 Words winning childrens stories

The Bronze medal winner in the 9 & under age group, ‘Should-Be’s’ by Juliette Lea, was read by Sherlock‘s Benedict Cumberbatch.
 

 
The Gold medal winner in the 9 & under age group, ‘Lost Undergound’ by Daniel Martlew, was read by Downton Abbey‘s Hugh Bonneville.
 

 
The fact that these stars lend their time and talents to a competition such as this is nothing short of greatness. Other winning stories were read by Harry Potter‘s Matthew Lewis, singer Paloma Faith, Dick ‘N’ Dom and Barney Harwood. Click here to have a listen.