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Last Updated: Monday December 06 2004 11:16 GMT

I am the Hard Spell champion!

Gayathri with Hard Spell presenter Eamonn Holmes
Gayathri won the final of BBC1's Hard Spell competition.

In her report, she tells us how she prepared for the challenge and what it feels like to be a spelling champion.

"I first found out about Hard Spell when my school sent a letter to everyone in years seven to nine telling us about it.

Everyone did a test and the two people who got the best results went through to the regional heats in Manchester.

I was really nervous, but excited. English is my favourite subject and I've always enjoyed spelling. Five people then went through from the heat.

Tricky words

In preparation for the competition, I learned the BBC word list. Then my dad helped me with trick words - ones which sound easy, but aren't.

Like words like 'saki', which is a drink, but there's also 'sake', which is a monkey. I also got my dad to test me on plants and food and medical words.

During the final I was nervous, but the more I did it, the more relaxed I became. In the end, I was more worried about having my picture taken, because I'm not very good at posing!

Gayathri with the other Hard Spell contestants
Gayathri with the other Hard Spell contestants
My most difficult word to spell in the competition was 'garibaldi' - I got it wrong in the final. It was the only word I got wrong!

But I eventually won the show with the word 'Chihuahua'.


I felt really shocked when I won the competition because I didn't think that I would win. I even started crying! I had family and friends in the audience, which was really nice. And at school, people I don't even know now say "hi" to me in the corridor!

I got a trophy as my prize and my school also gets some equipment vouchers.

I keep changing my mind about what I want to do when I'm older, but at the moment I would like to be an author or a psychiatrist - which both require good spelling!

Hard Spell was an unbelievable experience. When I first heard about it in July, there was no way that I thought I would be the winner now!"

Gayathri, 13, Omskirk

Why don't you write us a Press Pack report - and get it published on the site?!

It can be about anything that's happened in your local area - or your views on the news.

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