The school nativity play is the SINGLE most competitive time of year for modern parents, according to new research.
A survey of parents from Sheffield with children at primary school has revealed a staggering 58 percent admit their child auditioning for the school play brings out their most competitive edge.
In fact, as many 19 percent admit to splashing out for extra singing, drama and dancing lessons for their little darlings, in a bid to give them the “edge" over other auditionees.
Almost one in twenty parents have attempted to suck up to their child’s teacher, to help land them a plum role in the school PLAY.
And 13 percent say they spend hours making their youngsters costumes from scratch in a bid to "out do” the competition.
And when it comes to the biggest production of the year - the annual nativity play, more than half of the parents polled (55 percent) said they are secretly deeply disappointed when their child misses out on a main part.
The research was commissioned by Virgin TV to launch its Christmas Stars competition giving primary schools across the UK the chance to have their Christmas play specially recorded and made available to millions of TV viewers.
As part of the prize, the winning school will get to work with TV presenter Stephen Mulhern, who will join the school’s cast as the play’s narrator.
Virgin TV will film the one-off performance, making it available via on-demand, to its four million customers in the days leading up to Christmas. The winning school will be awarded £5,000 while a runner-up will receive £1,000.
David Bouchier, Chief Digital Entertainment Officer at Virgin Media, said: “Our research shows just how important the school Christmas play is to parents. That’s why we want to share this magic with millions of our Virgin TV customers.
“Whether it’s a traditional nativity featuring Mary and Joseph or a new tale with a talking snowman, we want to take the UK’s best festive school play from the school hall into our customers’ homes.
With the amazing opportunity to work with Stephen Mulhern, this is a cracker of a prize and we can’t wait to see what primary schools have in store for us.”
15 percent of parents polled admit to bragging on social media that their child had won a coveted “lead” role, while a further 8 percent will complain to anyone who will listen that their child has missed out on a star role.
A quarter have got to their child’s school early in bid to bag a coveted front row seat, while 9 percent have thrown a sickie to make sure they can get to the play in time.
A further 16 percent said they are stuck down by parental guilt if they miss their child’s star turn.
And according to the data if our little ones don’t get to play Mary, Joseph or the Angel Gabriel they are most likely to play a minor role such as a star (31 percent) a shepherd (28 percent) or one of the wise men (27 percent).
For 8 percent of us our offspring will be given the demanding role of a tree, while 15 percent will be a sheep and another 15 percent a donkey.
However, whatever the role 37 percent of us will shed a tear when we see our little ones tread the boards.
On average we will take 13 pictures of our children over the festive period, with most of us (68 percent) taking pics of them opening their presents, with a further 57 percent snapping away as they decorate the Christmas tree.