ACTRESS and singer Michelle Gayle visited a city school to encourage girls to use their intelligence to pursue their dreams.
The former EastEnders star made a trip to Farringdon Community School Sports College to talk about her new novel, Pride and Premiership.
Michelle, who started her career in Grange Hill, says she is on a mission to expose the truth behind the Wag lifestyle, with girls aspiring to marry a footballer rather than pursue a career.
The mum-of-one, who was married to Crystal Palace footballer and pundit Mark Bright, hopes her book will help shatter the fairytale after experiencing firsthand the reality of being a Wag.
Michelle was delighted to go along to Farringdon School and gave a talk to more than 100 young people.
Pride and Premiership, out this month, follows the story of wannabe Wag, Remy, as she tries to follow her own rules of dating a footballer, but soon realises the reality of being a Wag is not what it’s cracked up to be.
Michelle told the pupils: “The book alludes to Pride and Prejudice and a woman finding her fortune by marrying a man. The difference I wanted to show between then and now though is that now women have a choice.
“I was trying to get people to see that the lifestyle may look one way, but there is another side to it that the public don’t see, a side that isn’t so glamorous.”
The visit to Sunderland was organised by the Seven Stories children’s centre for books in Newcastle. Events officer Lorna Duncanson said: “It’s great that we have the chance to host an event like this. I think we all feel it is important to encourage local girls, and boys, to work hard and use their own skills to achieve their dreams, whatever they may be.
“Michelle is a fantastic new author and Pride and Premiership was a great read.”
Pride and Premiership is the first book for teens to be released as digital episodes, which can be downloaded, as well as in book form.