September 2019: TV debut on fun cookery programme for Ben

YEAR 9 student Ben Yousaf got to star in a new CBBC programme that was broadcast during the summer.

BBC’s ‘Step up to the Plate’ saw teams of four students assigned to roles either in the kitchen or as front of house in a mock-up restaurant.

Ben, 13, from Rawtenstall, said: “There was an email came round to students from school and I decided to apply.

“I completed a written application and then had a facetime interview on New Year’s Eve.

“I had to provide a video and it was all judged by producers before the filming in London in March.”

The show was originally going to be broadcast next year, but it was rescheduled to August, which was just as well for Ben as although he was allowed to tell friends and family that he was in the show he was not allowed to say how he did.

He said: “I was in the front of house team and we got training on what we would be serving, the menu and how to make the drinks.

“Then there was a real service with staff from the production team and a celebrity guest, AJ Pritchard from Strictly.

“They make the service as stressful as possible. I didn’t get through the heats and was only on the first two episodes. I spent two days in London and it was hectic.

“It was filmed in a university kitchen and mock up restaurant where the students get experience of catering and service.

“It was quite hard as we had to memorise the order and take it to the pass for the chef.

“It taught me to be polite and work as a team, the art of service, to acknowledge the customer first and how to cope under pressure.”

Ben also enjoys acting and attends the Carol Godby Theatre Workshop in Bury.