STARS from the worlds of sport, TV and film were among those who recorded a video message wishing a school a happy 150th birthday.
The Queen and Prime Minister Theresa May also sent letters of congratulation to St Bede’s Catholic Primary School, Kimberworth.
Teacher Gavin Sharp and his colleagues spent almost a year collecting 150 messages from famous personalities, from Hollywood legends Dame Judi Dench and Helen Mirren to Manchester City superstar Sergio Aguero and famous faces from children’s TV such as Dick and Dom and Steve Backshall.
The video was kept under wraps and shown for the first time at a garden party held on Saturday to celebrate the school’s birthday.
Many of those appearing in the video had connections to Rotherham and South Yorkshire - including politician Lord William Hague, actor Brian Blessed and TV presenter Dan Walker.
Mr Sharp came up with the idea of collecting videos to play at the school’s garden party and tasked his Year 6 pupils with writing letters to their favourite celebrities.
After the first few videos came in, a colleague suggested collecting 150 videos and the idea took off.
Mr Sharp had collected 100 videos by June this year but, he said, the final 50 messages were the hardest to get.
“We’d already written hundreds of letters, sent thousands of emails and had the phone put down on us so many times - but in good old St Bede’s fashion, we dug our heels in and managed to get 150 through sheer determination,” he said.
Mr Sharp said some videos came in too late to make the final cut — including a message from Arctic Monkeys lead singer Alex Turner.
“When we played the video on Saturday at the garden party there was quite a lot of disbelief from adults, pupils and colleagues - stunned faces,” said Mr Sharp.
“Countless garden party guests kept asking, ‘How on Earth did you get...?’
Mr Sharp said he had a lot of support from staff at town centre literacy charity-cum-magical apothecary Grimm & Co, who managed to secure messages from author and screenwriter Jeremy Dyson, author Joanne Harris and actor and author Paul Clayton.
His friend, Sheffield United coach Lee McMahon, helped him get a message from Manchester Utd and England stars Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard.
A short version of the video can be watched at https://youtu.be/\_sYOvoPmSI. Visit https://youtu.be/DSbIweTFksk to see a longer version.