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Last Updated: Friday, 13 January 2006, 01:25 GMT
Fame 'tempts pupils from school'
Helen Adams
Some of the Big Brother contestants did enjoy fame - for a while
One in 10 young people would drop out of education for a shot at TV fame, a survey suggests.

And 16% believe they will actually become famous, according to the Learning and Skills Council survey of 777 16-19 year olds in England.

But many young people also said they would prefer to emulate well-known figures such as Prime Minister Tony Blair and cricketer Andrew Flintoff.

The LSC says education should be seen as the most reliable route to success.

'I would drop out'

Many young people do not understand that the odds of being selected for a reality TV show such as Big Brother - and continuing to be famous afterwards - are very slim, the LSC says.

Almost one in ten said they thought celebrity was a great way to earn money without skills or qualifications.

Ruth Bullen, LSC spokeswoman, said research showed that young people without five good GCSEs or the equivalent were more likely to earn low pay in later life.

Top 10 role models
Richard Branson
J K Rowling
David Beckham
Andrew Flintoff
Tony Blair
David Attenborough
Frank Lampard
Stephen Hawking
Ms Dynamite
Alan Sugar
Source: LSC

"If making money is the reason a young person wants to become famous, then by staying on in education or training they can significantly increase their future earning power by gaining these essential qualifications," she said.

More than half of teenagers who said they wanted to become famous cited money and success as the principal reason.

James Pollock, 15, from Unity City Academy Middlesbrough, said: "Although I plan to make something with my life by working hard and going to college, an offer like Big Brother would be too tempting to resist.

"It's the fastest route to fame, and I'd drop out of school or college to have that chance."


Previous research it had undertaken suggested that pupils who stay on at school after their GCSEs could earn up to 4,000 more per year than those without good GCSEs - adding up to 185,000 over their careers.

It says students who gain A-levels or other advanced qualifications can expect to earn an average yearly salary of 20,692.

But those who leave school without obtaining five GCSE passes at grades A*-C or the equivalent can expect an average salary of 16,739.

And it is urging those young people who are banking on a moment of fame to draw in the cash to remember those former Big Brother contestants who have long since been forgotten.

Hear pupils give their views

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