A TEENAGER who overcame his stammer and stole the nation’s hearts on the hit television show Educating Yorkshire has headed back to school to inspire other youngsters.
Musharaf Asghar, better known as Mushy, had his classmates and teachers in tears when he gave a moving speech during an assembly using a technique seen in The King’s Speech movie.
The Educating Yorkshire star has had his stammer since having an asthma attack at the age of four. The technique — suggested by his English teacher Matthew Burton to help him perform in his English oral exam — was never meant to be more than a short-term fix.
Now the determined 18-year-old, who is in his second year studying science at college, has appeared in the Channel 4 documentary Stammer School: Musharaf Finds His Voice. “If I could speak fluently, I would show people who I really am,” said Musharaf, before heading to London up for an intensive stammer course called The McGuire Programme.
The documentary showed him barely able to say his own name at the beginning, but with specialist help the teenager from Savile Town was able to deliver a speech to a room of people – without using headphones.
And he has returned to Thornhill Community Academy to help teach some lessons to fulfill his dream of becoming a teacher.
“I hope it will have a positive impact on other people with stammers to speak more and not give up on their dreams,” he said.
Mr Burton spoke of his pride at his former pupil’s progress, adding: “I’m sure he knows that hard work is the only way to succeed, and I have no doubt that he will continue to work hard.”
Educating Yorkshire was a follow-up series to Channel 4’s original Educating Essex.
The Yorkshire version of the show has proved to be a massive success – attracting audiences of more than three million and winning a series of television awards.
Such was its popularity that cameras returned to the school for a Christmas special and again earlier this year for an Educating Yorkshire one year on – which showed pupils from the academy picking up their GCSE results. Head teacher Jonny Mitchell said the programme had helped to attract more pupils to Thornhill Community Academy.