Bethnal Green schoolgirl scoops award for speech blasting celebrity culture

A 14-year-old schoolgirl’s passionate diatribe against today’s celebrity culture has won her a borough-wide public speaking contest.

Darcy McGuinness’s well-crafted speech attacked society’s obsession with fame and she delivered her piece confidentially at the final of the Tower Hamlets Public Speaking Competition.

Darcy, who attends Bethnal Green’s Morpeth School in Portman Place, was competing against 12 other young people who had also made it through to the final on March 13.

The teenager, who has her sights set on a career in law, argued that thousands of young people allow celebrity culture to disrupt their lives and distract them from education.

“I want to idolise someone who’s changed the world, not just someone famous,” she told the audience.

Mohammed Omar from St Paul’s Way Trust School in Bow was awarded second place, while Rebecca Lambert Neu from Swanlea School in Brady Street, Whitechapel, came third.

The event was a joint initiative between the Tower Hamlets Education Business Partnership and Lloyd’s Community Programme, a volunteering initiative run by the banking group.