Charles makes history

A HORRIBLE look at Britain's murky past turned out to be rather pleasant for a Lancaster schoolboy this week.

Charles Manklow,10, was already an avid reader of Terry Deary's hugely successful 'Horrible Histories' when he decided to enter a competition to find the series' 'brainiest boffin'.

After correctly answering the entrance questions and submitting an original design for a birthday card, Charles was chosen to represent the North West as one of six finalists from over 500 applicants. "I chose to answer questions on the Measly Middle Ages for my specialist subject, although personally I prefer the Stormin' Normans," said Charles who attends Christchurch C of E Primary. "But thankfully I still managed to get all my questions right."

Roman pillars and effigies of Egyptian mummies provided a suitably creepy atmosphere for the occasion and Terry Deary himself posed the questions in a mock-up TV studio complete with lectern and spotlights.

"I was very nervous to start with but Terry was really funny and put us all at our ease," said Charles.

Of the six finalists, Charles was the second youngest and was delighted to finish joint third after a nail-biting finish between the top two players.

The glittering party in London was held to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the series of books which have enjoyed phenomenal success among children and adults alike.

After the show Terry Deary said of Charles and his co-finalists: "Whatever you do don't pat these children on the head - their brainpower will burn your hand to a cinder!"