• Academy of St Francis of Assisi Educate Magazine Paul McGann

From Tardis to classroom!

He’s played cult characters and starred in iconic movies, now Paul McGann has headed back to school in his hometown of Liverpool.

Kensington-born actor Paul McGann, who has been appearing on our screens for four decades, swapped film sets for the classroom when he visited a Liverpool school.

Paul paid a special visit to students and staff at The Academy of St Francis of Assisi (ASFA) in Kensington. The visit was arranged by the school’s Chaplain Phil Johnson, after he met the actor at this year’s Comic Con Liverpool.

The Academy, which is celebrating its highest progress figures in three years, welcomes students from a diverse, vibrant community. Over 40 different languages are spoken at ASFA and therefore strong emphasis is given to embracing and celebrating its multi-cultural community.

Paul’s visit started with a fantastic performance by the Academy’s samba band, followed by a tour of the school’s vibrant community.

During the visit, Paul met with students from across all year groups who are making a real difference in the local Kensington community.

Students also got the chance to grill Paul on his varied and exciting acting career which has seen him star on television, film and stage.

Paul starred as the eighth incarnation of the doctor in the 1996 Doctor Who television film and has since reprised this role in more than 70 audio dramas, including the 2013 mini-episode “The Night of the Doctor”.

He has also starred in Bruce Robinson’s cult film comedy Withnail and I; ITV’s television series Hornblower; BBC mystery series Jonathan Creek as well as appearing as a regular in the crime drama Luther. Paul is currently starring in BBC One’s medical drama series Holby City as Professor John Gaskell.

ASFA’s award-winning drama group impressed the actor with a performance of their award-winning play “Talkin’ about my Education” and also got to watch the Academy’s national award-winning film “Tar Noire”. Paul was very complimentary about the drama club and commented that they performed like a professional ‘company’.

Meanwhile talented students from the ASFA music department, led by head of music Jay Bradley performed The Jackson Five hit “I Want You Back”. The song turned out to be one of Paul’s favourites when he was young and he had fond memories of buying the single locally.

Head of school, Tracey Greenough said: “We were delighted to welcome Paul McGann to the Academy and show him everything that makes ASFA such a special, vibrant community. Our talented students couldn’t wait to perform and we enjoyed telling Paul all about our community and charity initiatives in the local community.

“The students were so excited to meet a successful film and television star, especially Paul as he grew up in Kensington! It really shows what our students can achieve if they dream big, aim high and be self-motivated.”

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About Author: Alan Birkett