TV journalist Emily Maitlis recalled her days at King Edward VII Secondary as she officially opened the redeveloped school.
The BBC Newsnight presenter told an audience in the assembly hall that she owed “a debt of gratitude” to the school where she was a student between 1983 and 1989.
“It was King Ted’s that made me want to learn at school and to stay at school, that sent me seeking out a job where my mind would be fully stretched as it was here.”
Emily returned to King Edward’s to see the results of the £18m revamp that incorporates a new building – the STEM centre for science, technology, engineering and maths – into the historic structure.
She joked to an audience that included current headteacher Bev Jackson and predecessor Michael Lewis that she was shocked to see children on the main steps of the school, which wasn’t allowed when she was a pupil.
She said later: “It was a great feeling to walk back into a building I once knew inside out and let the memories flood back. The ‘new look’ King Ted’s is so impressive, and feels so grown up, but I will never forget all that the ‘old’ King Teds, or more importantly its teachers, did for me.
“I do a fair amount of public speaking but nothing prepared me for talking in front of my former headmaster – ridiculously nervous! But the warmth of the people and the commitment of the staff to their pupils was so strong once again. I honestly think King Ted’s is unbeatable!”
After her school date, Emily crossed Glossop Road with her children for the Broomhill summer fair, which was held in St Mark’s Church because of the poor weather.