A TEENAGE schoolboy got the opportunity of a lifetime when he travelled thousands of miles to front his own television programme.
Michael Adams, 14, saw off competition from 1,000 other teens to visit Brazil and discover how different life can be for his South American peers.
Producers for the CBBC show wanted Michael to experience at first hand the lives of children working long hours in factories to produce goods which are then shipped over to the UK.
Michael, of East Rainton, spent just under three weeks with four other youngsters, working alongside factory labourers making everything from caps to circuit boards.
Now, his experiences are set to be screened on Show Me What You’re Made Of next week.
Michael, who attends Houghton Kepier School, said it was a life-changing time.
“I don’t take my things for granted anymore,” he said. “And when I buy things, I can actually see the people making it in my head.
“It was quite scary seeing the conditions those people work in, and sometimes I got quite upset seeing the conditions they are living in.”
He also said the filming process was quite tough.
“The first couple of days I just wanted to come home,” he said.
“But because it’s such an eye-opening experience I couldn’t turn the opportunity down, so I kept determined and I made it eventually.”
He added: “It was quite exciting being filmed but sometimes it was quite scary because I had to think about what I was saying so I didn’t sound stupid and a lot of the time, because of the noise in the factories, we had to repeat what we were saying.”
Show Me What You’re Made Of will be shown on the CBBC channel next week from Monday, for five days, and the first episode is available to watch on the BBC iplayer.
Michael said his teachers are using the programme to help educate his peers.
“I think they have been recording it on the computer to use in geography lessons, which is great,” he said.
“And my family are really excited to see the programme.
“It has made me want to do similar things and now I appreciate what places like Brazil are like. If I went back, I would want to go places and meet people like I did for CBBC.”