Budding journalists from Exmouth Community College have been interviewing a zoo owner whose life inspired a Hollywood film starring Matt Damon and Scarlett Johansson.

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Twelve pupils from year nine went to Devon Zoological Park, near Plymouth, to interview Benjamin Mee, whose story was the inspiration for the new film We Bought a Zoo.

The interview was carried out as part of the BBC’s School Report project which, in previous years, has seen Exmouth pupils interviewing Huw Edwards at the BBC, Sir Trevor Brooking at Wembley, and the then-Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling at 11 Downing Street.

The pupils who took part in this year’s project were selected through a reporting test, and helped by three year 10 pupils, who worked on last year’s project.

As well as interviewing Benjamin Mee, the pupils also produced reports on subjects including conservation, the new skate park in Phear Park, Fairtrade Fortnight, and the new bowling alley on Exmouth seafront.

The reports can be downloaded from the school’s website, www.exmouthcollege.devon.sch.uk

The year nine pupils who took part were Matthew Jackson, Brianna Evans, Jake Sharp, Samuel Winnall, James Clarke, Holly Mingo, Georgina Parkes-Barton, Lily Leeming and Edward Scott. They were helped by year 10 pupils George Prew, Mark Briggs and Ellie McBurnie.

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