She Won't Be Invited Back! TV Presenter Fiona Phillips Returns To Her Old School And Accuses It Of Turning Her Into A 'Vile Shoplifter'

26/10/2012 12:54 | Updated 22 May 2015
She won't be invited back! TV presenter Fiona Phillips returns to her old school and accuses it of turning her into a 'vile shoplifter'Solent

When old pupils are invited back to their schools to inspire the next generation, the speaker usually praises their schooldays to the high heavens.

But when bosses at Millbrook Community School in Southampton invited TV presenter Fiona Phillips back to wax lyrical about her time there, they got a bit of a shock.

For instead of extolling the virtues of her education at the school, the 51-year-old former GMTV anchorwoman donned her proverbial size 10 bovver boots – and gave her old school a damn good kicking.

In front of a gobsmacked audience, Fiona accused the school of crushing her aspirations and turning her into a 'vile teenager' who was arrested for shoplifting.

She claimed that before leaving with one O-level she expressed a desire to become a doctor but was asked by teachers: "Have you thought about hairdressing?"

She described the headmaster at the time as a man who 'commanded no respect whatsoever'. And she recalled how she and her classmates locked a teacher in a cupboard and threw another over a bush.

She went on the attack at a ceremony rebranding Millbrook as the £16million Oasis Academy Lord's Hill.

"It was a school rampant with hormones and no discipline, no aspiration and no encouragement," she said.

"I can remember being in classes throwing furniture around. We locked a fashion teacher in a cupboard and threw one over a bush, and that was normal behaviour.

"My mother was in despair because I was so vile to her. They used to come and pick me up from the police station after I had been caught for shoplifting. I was in fights after school – I won't even go into what else went on."

She said her mother could not believe that her conscientious daughter had 'turned into this vile teenager'.

"I left with one O-level in English language, purely because I read a lot and all my education came from home," she said.

Fiona added: 'I'm proud to say I went to Millbrook School. I'm not proud of the education I had there."

She added that she was angry the Millbrook area had seen 'hardly any investment in nearly half a century'.

Her harsh remarks upset many of those connected with the school, with the Mayor of Southampton, Derek Burke, a former governor of Millbrook, accusing Fiona of 'dramatic licence'.

He added: "It wasn't nearly as bad as she painted it."

After leaving, Fiona worked for a short time at Mr Kipling's bakery in Eastleigh, but decided to give education another try and gained a BA in English at Birmingham Polytechnic. She began her journalistic career at independent local radio stations in Sussex.

If you were invited to give a speech at your old school, what would you say?


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