A MARLOW school welcomed back two of its most successful and influential former students this week to give a masterclass to current pupils.
Sir William Borlase’s Grammar School opened its doors to alumni Michael Acton-Smith and Paul Hawkins during a week of special talks for years ten to 12.
Mr Acton-Smith is the award-winning creator of the Moshi Monsters universe, a children’s entertainment franchise with over 80 millon users worldwide and a range of bestselling merchandise.
And Dr Hawkins created the revolutionary ‘Hawk-eye’ tracking technology used at Wimbledon and in Premier League football matches.
The Old Borlasians, who were both born in 1974 and attended the school at the same time, returned to inspire the teenagers with the stories behind their achievements and rise to industry success and wider fame.
Borlase staff hope the talks will open pupils’ eyes to all sorts of careers that they may not have thought about previously and encourage the senior pupils to reach for the stars.
Head of sixth form Jane Bungey said: "We are delighted with the diversity of our speakers made up primarily of parents and Old Borlasians, together with representatives from various universities.
"The masterclasses are about inspiring students about their post Borlase plans."
Marlow-born Mr Acton-Smith dreamed up the concept for Moshi Monsters in 2007, with a view to building the largest entertainment brand in the world for the new digital generation.
His online games, toys and merchandise are now sold all over the world, with the entrepreneur receiving an honorary doctorate from the University of Birmingham last year in recognition for his efforts.
Keen sports fan Dr Hawkins, originally from Bledlow Ridge, created his Hawk-eye technology for Channel Four’s cricket coverage in 2001.
The ball-tracking technology was an instant success, and is now an accepted form of adjucation in cricket, tennis and football.
Hawk-Eye’s success has been recognised through several honours including two BAFTAS, one Emmy, one Logie, three Royal Television Society Awards.