November 29 2014 Latest news:
Donna-Louise Bishop, Reporter
Thursday, April 3, 2014
Stop, look and listen - that’s the message which has been repeated to Norfolk’s school children for more than two decades by magician Olly Day.
But today’s (Thursday) performance at Arden Grove Infant and Nursery School, in Hellesdon, was extra special.
With his colourful waistcoat, jazzy bow tie, bag full of tricks and a pet ferret, Mr Day celebrated his 1000th performance of the Road Safety Magic Show.
Speaking about the milestone, the entertainer believed that only around hundred shows would be put on when he first started out.
“Now I have the parents of children telling me they remember me doing the show for them when they were at school,” he said. “Arden Grove was one of the first schools we came to visit when we started and it is always a pleasure to come back.”
Mr Day has entertained and informed more than 170,000 primary, infant and junior pupils, helping to save lives by delivering the magic show on behalf of Norfolk County Council (NCC).
Funded by NCC and developed in conjunction with its casualty reduction, education and development team, it has travelled to hundreds of Norfolk’s schools over the past 21 years.
The show teaches essential road safety skills - including stop, look and listen - as well as the importance of being safe and seen and wearing a cycle helmet when riding a bicycle. It also features friends Cyril, the fluorescent cat, and Freddie the ferret.
The screams, roars of laughter and giggles from the young audience make it clear to see why the show is so popular but it is getting across the message of road safety which is at the heart of what Mr Day does.
He said: “Ten children a week are hurt on Norfolk’s roads. If it has stopped just one child from running across the road or if it gets the children to wear their cycle helmets, then it makes me very happy.
“Of all the many things I do in the world of entertainment, the Road Safety Magic Show is the thing that I am most proud of. Singing and making people laugh for a living is all very well, but I get real satisfaction from travelling all over Norfolk performing my school shows.”
Seven-year-old’s Thomas Hannant and Billie-Jean Brown were among the 190 students who saw today’s performance and they both agreed it was “really good”.
Thomas said: “I liked it when the magic turned the cat bright yellow. Now I have learnt to stop, look and listen.”
Bille-Jean added: “I always take care on the road anyway and I will listen to all of Olly’s advice.”
Members of the local community and NCC also attended congratulate Mr Day.
Shelagh Gurney, chairman of Hellesdon Parish Council, said: “I have known him personally for many, many years, and I congratulate him on this wonderful achievement.”
And to mark the momentous occasion, NCC chairman Hilary Cox, held a special presentation after the show.
• Are you doing something special at your school? Contact reporter Donna-Louise Bishop on 01603 693892, email firstname.lastname@example.org or follow on Twitter @donnaloubishop.
• To see more photos from the show click the link to the photo gallery in the top right-hand corner.