POP star Peter Andre is hoping to have talked his way into the world record books with the help of thousands of youngsters at Sheffield’s Meadowhall shopping centre, writes Graham Walker.
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The former Celebrity Dad of the Year was there in a bid for most children reading with an adult.
South Yorkshire author Peter J Murray also helped out with Roald Dahl readings.
The final count won’t be verified until next week but with over 4,000 children registered to take part Meadowhall bosses hope they have done it.
And world record or not the event was a huge success because it encouraged more adults to read to their children, said chart-topper Andre.
The library code of silence was broken when screaming fans mobbed him as he arrived under police escort for the big read in the Oasis.
He told The Star: “Meadowhall have done an amazing event. It’s been a really great day - I hope we break the record. But its really about getting adults to read to their children and for adults to start reading for themselves.
“A survey showed one in three adults couldn’t read to their children. Not didn’t. They couldn’t read.
“So how do you make people fall in love with reading again? A day like today is one of those days.”
Father to Junior, six, Princess, four, and step-father to ex-wife Katie Price’s son Harvey, nine, he said he loves reading to them - but found the prospect of reading to thousands of children a little daunting.
He added: “It’s important to read to your children 15-minutes before they go to sleep because whatever you implant into your child’s mind then will determine the mood they wake up in.”
The Mysterious Girl hitmaker, who recently launched a range of childrens books in association with publishing house Ladybird Books, revealed his favourite kids’ books are the Mr Men series and laughed: “I’d be Mr Tickle or Mr Happy.”
Darren Pearce, Meadowhall Centre Director, said: “Hopefully we’ve had over 4,000 children but it’s about promoting literacy. About people reading and particularly reading with their kids. That’s a really important message for us as a family friendly and family focussed shopping centre.”