BOOM FOR BOARERS
Copyright 2001 www.variety.com
[ December 3rd 2001 ]
numbers of children are applying for places at
Britain's public schools - thanks to Harry Potter.
JK Rowling's tales of the action-packed dormitories
of Hogwarts School have helped the boarding sector
shed its old image of harsh regimes and reversed
a 20-year decline.
public schools are full and are turning away thousands
of children. School heads say the increased popularity
is due to good exam results, and a strong economy
also means more parents can afford to pay fees
of up to GBP18,500 a year.
heads also admit fictional role models are a big
factor. Prince Charles's old school Gordonstoun
was chosen for fictional cyberbabe Lara Croft's
education. Gordonstoun is also reportedly the
inspiration for Hogwarts and has secret tunnels,
ghosts and was once owned by a "wizard" - Sir
Robert Gordon, who in the late 1600s conducted
bizarre experiments in a laboratory under the
spokeswoman Angela Harkness said: "We have revelled
in the Harry Potter connection and the fact that
Lara Croft was an ex-pupil. We have had the second
highest intake in our history." The Independent
Schools Council Information Service says the number
of girl boarders has risen for the first time
in nearly 20 years. The number of boy boarders
fell by only one per cent - the smallest decrease
Louise Soler said: "We have heard anecdotal evidence
that public schools are experiencing a boom on
the back of Harry Potter. "Our website alone receives
1,400 hits a week from parents and children wanting
to know more about boarding."
disappears in a puff of smoke VETERAN hellraiser
Richard Harris has been forced to quit smoking
for his role in the Harry Potter film. The 71-year-old
actor has been reduced to taking crafty puffs
behind the scenes.
said: "It was gently pointed out to him that it
might not be such a good idea to be seen smoking
in public in case the young fans get the idea
that smoking is a good thing.