Kicking off a new three-part series, HELLO! magazine is the focus of this week's When I Grow Up on Channel 4, which will air on Thursday 2 May at 8pm. For the first time, we invited cameras into both our London office and on location to give an unprecedented access to our working life – to schoolchildren. Our very own editor-in-chief Rosie Nixon explained the lovely story behind the show. "It was quite possibly one of the craziest decision I made last year – invite a group of seven to nine-year-olds to run HELLO! magazine for a week. What could possibly go wrong?", Rosie said.
She continued: "Yes, there were more than a few sideways glances in the office when I broke the news to the team that we would be involved in Channel 4's new series When I Grow Up, the premise of which is Big meets the The Secret Life of 7 Year Olds. But my motivation for inviting the children and camera's into HELLO! was clear – I believe passionately in the power of journalism and I also believe that we desperately need a variety of voices and experiences to create brilliant journalism that informs and inspires. So when I was approached by the producers of this bold new series to give six youngsters, from a wide variety of backgrounds and UK locations, the chance to get involved in running a business for a week, I jumped at the chance."
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Rosie opened up about welcoming the children to HELLO!
"The idea was not for the children to 'fix' the business – we're doing very well, thank you – but to broaden their horizons in the hope that the experience will bolster their confidence and ambitions, giving them a feeling that they can be whatever they ultimately decide they want to be when they grow up. I wasn't told anything about the backgrounds of the children when they arrived or during filming. Of course, there were many funny and playful moments during our week with the children."
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The youngsters spent a week in the HELLO! office
Speaking about a particularly memorable occasion when the children ran a special star-studded theatre outing, Rosie added: "There were a few nerve-wracking moments when I asked them to host a London theatre event on my behalf. They also undertook a royal engagement alongside our royal editor Emily Nash and we even let them loose on a very game Myleene Klass when they helped HELLO!'s assistant editor Alexandra Wilby organise a celebrity photoshoot and interview."
They also took the reins during a photoshoot
Of course, the youngsters got up to plenty of mischief during the shoot, and Rosie joked: "You'll have to tune in to see what happened when they tried to sweet-talk [Myleene's] publicist Simon Jones! As we put the children's creative ideas and ingenuity to the test, I was impressed by their suggestions, wit and wisdom. There were also plenty of arguments and a few tears shed along the way, too. And if you were wondering, we did manage to get the issue off to press on time – just."
When I Grow Up will air 7 May on Channel 4
"We filmed the show during the hot summer of 2018 and I wonder if any of you noticed a few unusual by-lines in issue 1541 of HELLO!, which the children took over? On reflection, it was a highly memorable and rather magical week. It was a joy to see the children grow, embrace team-work – eventually! – and I learnt from them as well. Their lack of inhibitions generated some brilliant content." When I Grow Up is on Channel 4 on Thursday 2 May at 8pm.