FANS of The Paul O’Grady Show will have found themselves doing a double take when they switched on to the popular tea-time chat show.
In place of the show host Paul O’Grady, it was eight-year-old Gaskell Primary School pupil Caden Atkinson opening the programme.
The youngster not only greeted the audience, but hilariously made himself at home in the comedian’s chair, before Paul O’Grady walked on and asked him what he was doing, with Caden replying it was the result of cutbacks on the show.
Caden is the latest in a number of talented Bolton youngsters to have a slot on the show after programme researchers visited schools looking for young characters to appear on prime-time television.
Also chosen to appear was fellow Gaskell Primary School pupil Sean-Paul Simm, who will appear in a later episode.
They are following in the footsteps of seven-year-old Michael Wetham, from Bishop Bridgeman CE Primary School, who was rubbing shoulders with the stars, including Michael Bolton, when he was the first to appear on the show.
Caden had the audience laughing as he entered into banter with Paul, asking him to move because “his audience” couldn’t see him.
And as he walked off, he turned to the audience and joked: “I don’t get paid enough for this!”
The Year Three pupil said: “It was very exciting meeting the celebrities. I met Stephen Mulhern and the amazing Paul O’Grady.
“It was so much fun dressing up as Paul O’Grady and having a real audience to watch me.”
Sean-Paul, aged 10, added: “I can’t believe I’ve been picked to be on the show. I feel like I’m an important TV star now. Everyone keeps asking me for my autograph.”
Artwork created by children at Gaskell Primary School will also be featured on the show later this week.
Emily Kirk, Gaskell Primary headteacher, described Caden as a real star, adding he could be real competition for Paul himself.
She said: “We were absolutely delighted when Caden and Sean-Paul were asked to appear on The Paul O’Grady Show.
“We are so proud of both of them and are thrilled with the increased confidence that the experience of appearing on the show has given them both.”