COMEDIAN Paddy McGuinness paid a visit to his old school to present life-saving defibrillators.

The Horwich matchmaker and TV star was at Mount St Joseph School, in Greenland Road, Farnworth, yesterday.

Paddy delivered the defibrillators, courtesy of Salford-based charity Hand On Heart, and helped demonstrate how to use them.

He said: “I was at the old school in Hawthorne Road — me and my friends are jealous of this place, it looks fantastic. All the teachers who taught me are gone now, so it’s been a bit of a culture shock.

“It’s been really nice coming back today to talk to the teachers.

“The first thing that really surprised me was how attentative the pupils are. They are very intelligent and switched on, and listened intently.”

Paddy spoke to the school’s prefects and house captains from Years Seven to 11. Pupils were told that 270 children die at school each year in Britain, after suffering sudden cardiac arrest.

In the UK, 12 young people die each week from cardiac arrest.

Paddy said: “It’s very important to make people aware of cardiac arrest.

“Heart disease is in my family. I’m very appreciative of the work Hand On Heart does to help schools like this everywhere.”

Since Hand On Heart began as a campaign in 2010, the charity has provided more than 150 fully and partially funded defibrillator packages to schools in the UK.

Gina Harris, the charity’s fundraising manager, said: “It’s fantastic to have such an influential person at the school. His support for our charity is absolutely brilliant.

“Every single school in the UK needs a defibrillator — it’s the difference between life and death.”

After the talk, Paddy was joined by the head boy and head girl — Jordan Fishwick, aged 16, and Rachael Litherland, aged 15.

Headteacher Paul Roach said: “It was an honour and a privilege to have Paddy at the school. It’s hugely important to have the right equipment in schools. You saw what happened to Fabrice Muamba, he was saved by a defibrillator — this shows how vital they are.”

A defibrillator delivers an electric shock to the heart when someone is having a cardiac arrest, prompting it to start beating properly again.

The Bolton News, working with Bolton West MP Julie Hilling, launched the Every School Leaver a Life Saver campaign earlier this year, to ensure that all school pupils in Bolton know what to do when faced with someone who is suffering a cardiac arrest, choking or bleeding.