When old pupils are invited back to their schools to inspire the next generation, the speaker usually praises their schooldays to the high heavens.
But when bosses at Millbrook Community School
in Southampton invited TV presenter Fiona Phillips
back to wax lyrical about her time there, they got a bit of a shock.
For instead of extolling the virtues of her education at the school, the 51-year-old former GMTV anchorwoman donned her proverbial size 10 bovver boots – and gave her old school a damn good kicking.
In front of a gobsmacked audience, Fiona accused the school of crushing her aspirations and turning her into a 'vile teenager' who was arrested for shoplifting.
She claimed that before leaving with one O-level she expressed a desire to become a doctor but was asked by teachers: "Have you thought about hairdressing?"
She described the headmaster at the time as a man who 'commanded no respect whatsoever'. And she recalled how she and her classmates locked a teacher in a cupboard and threw another over a bush.
She went on the attack at a ceremony rebranding Millbrook as the £16million Oasis Academy Lord's Hill.
"It was a school rampant with hormones and no discipline, no aspiration and no encouragement," she said.
"I can remember being in classes throwing furniture around. We locked a fashion teacher in a cupboard and threw one over a bush, and that was normal behaviour.
"My mother was in despair because I was so vile to her. They used to come and pick me up from the police station after I had been caught for shoplifting. I was in fights after school – I won't even go into what else went on."
She said her mother could not believe that her conscientious daughter had 'turned into this vile teenager'.
"I left with one O-level in English language, purely because I read a lot and all my education came from home," she said.
Fiona added: 'I'm proud to say I went to Millbrook School. I'm not proud of the education I had there."
She added that she was angry the Millbrook area had seen 'hardly any investment in nearly half a century'.
Her harsh remarks upset many of those connected with the school, with the Mayor of Southampton, Derek Burke, a former governor of Millbrook, accusing Fiona of 'dramatic licence'.
He added: "It wasn't nearly as bad as she painted it."
After leaving, Fiona worked for a short time at Mr Kipling's bakery in Eastleigh, but decided to give education another try and gained a BA in English at Birmingham Polytechnic. She began her journalistic career at independent local radio stations in Sussex.
If you were invited to give a speech at your old school, what would you say?
- Christina Aguilera, mum to Max
‘My school days were miserable. The jealousy got so bad that our neighbours slashed our car tyre.’</p>
- Billie Piper, mum to Winston
‘I had my head in the clouds, was mad, neurotic and self-destructive, a very different character to the one you see today. I was saved mostly by my parents, friends and boyfriends but it could have gone either way.’</p>
- Clair Nasir, mum to Sienna
‘September was always the month when I had my second pair of new shoes of the year. This joy always turned to disappointment at my mother's choice - Clarks in the early 70s weren't known for being the height of fashion.’</p>
- Edith Bowman, mum to Rudy
‘You get to an age and boredom sets in when there are not enough things to inspire or motivate you. I definitely found that in the last year or two of primary school.’</p>
- Guy Ritchie, dad to Rocco
‘At first, they all focused on the fact I was lazy and disruptive. My association with school was totally negative.'</p>
- Holly Willoughby, mum to Harry and Belle
‘At school I was always known as Flat-Chested Willoughby.’</p>
- Jamie Oliver, dad to Poppy, Daisy, Petal and Buddy
‘I really decided to cook when I was about 15, for two reasons. The first reason was I really loved it and found it very natural. The second reason was my exam results from school were terrible, it was all Cs, Es and Fs. So I thought 'Oh no, what am I good at?' I decided to go to catering college in London.’</p>
- Jessica Alba, mum to Honor and Haven
‘I'd eat my lunch in the nurses’ office so I didn't have to sit with the other girls. Apart from my being mixed race, my parents didn't have money so I never had the cute clothes or the cool back pack.’</p>
- Jude Law, dad to Rafferty, Iris, Rudy and Sophia
‘I didn't do badly at school but I was more interested in drama and school plays than anything else. My mum and dad didn't have a problem with that and encouraged me. I think I was about six when I did my first school play. My parents also encouraged me to take my education seriously just in case things didn't work out in acting. I hated it at times but I got through it.'</p>
- Liv Tyler, mum to Mylo
‘I quit when I was 14. I always hated school, uniforms, having to sit behind your desk all day. I don't need education like that.'</p>
- Myleene Klass, mum to Ava and Hero
‘I loved the school uniform at St Mary's RC Primary. It was so exciting to wear a tie, and my dad showed me how to do a Windsor knot.’</p>
- Pink, mum to Willow Sage
‘I fought a lot but I learnt a lot. If other kids do the same that is up to them, everyone has a right to their own experience. I'm just glad I was lucky enough to survive.'</p>
- Brad Pitt, dad to Maddox, Pax, Zahara, Shiloh, and twins Knox and Vivienne
‘I had the usual sort of fights over girls. From memory, I won one - probably because I took a cheap shot like grabbing the guy's nuts, or something - and lost one. The only serious damage was to my ego.'</p>
- Natalie Portman, mum to Aleph
‘My dad is still saying, ‘This being an actress thing is cute but don’t you think it’s time to go to grad school?’</p>
- Sara Cox, mum to Lola, Isaac and Renee
‘I was a bit of a performer, trying to make people laugh. I once feigned paralysis just for the hell of it. I was five or six and just put my hand up in class and told my teacher I couldn't move my legs and had to be carried home to the doctor's. Then I skipped out of the doctor's surgery.’</p>
- Tom Cruise, dad to Suri
‘I didn't have many friends. I was dyslexic and a lot of kids made fun of me. That experience made me tough inside because you learn to quietly accept abuse and ridicule.’</p>
- Victoria Beckham, mum to Brooklyn, Romeo, Cruz and Harper Seven
‘It was miserable, my whole schooling, miserable. I tried to be friends with people, but I didn't fit in. So I kept myself to myself.’</p>
- Kate Winslet, mum to Mia and Joe
‘I was bullied for being chubby. Where are they now?’</p>