Dedicated teacher Kath Crawley was ushered into the ITV studios for a surprise appearance on Ant & Dec's hit show on Saturday (February 20), where she was handed the keys to her new luxury caravan.
Mrs Crawley was shown waiting outside with her daughter Becky for what she thought was going to be an ITV News interview about her career as a teacher, before being surprised by Ant and Dec inside the glitzy Saturday Night Takeaway studio.
The pair gave Mrs Crawley the "surprise of her life" before a live audience of millions by making her the latest community hero to be recognised and rewarded for her selfless efforts.
Deputy headteacher Kath, who is retiring from St Thomas’ CE Primary School in Wigan after 32-years of teaching, was moved to tears as she watched video messages from former pupils and her current class appeared by video link to say a very special “thank you Miss” to their favourite teacher.
A tearful Mrs Crawley told Ant and Dec: “Teaching has been my life. I can't tell you how much I'm going to miss it. Being a parent is the best job in the world, but being a teacher is just like being a parent but to a lot more children."
Her daughter Becky told Ant and Dec how she was "massively proud" of her mum, who had "dedicated her whole life to putting other people first".
It was the culmination of months of undercover filming during Mrs Crawley’s last year before retiring, as the Saturday Night Takeaway team staged a series of “Operation Thank You Miss” surprises featuring former pupils of the popular teacher.
Having heard how much Mrs Crawley loves caravan holidays in the Lake District and had been saving up for years for a new holiday home, the Saturday Night Takeaway team said they thought there would be "no better thank you for her amazing efforts" than to make her retirement dreams come true.
The show’s producers approached British holiday home manufacturer Willerby, who donated a brand new static caravan to the show on behalf of Kath's pupils.
Presenters Ant and Dec regularly surprise their audience, both in the studio and watching at home, with special prizes in recognition of community work, overcoming adversity or helping others in need.
On Saturday night, viewers heard how Mrs Crawley had taught 1,300 pupils, inspired generation after generation of youngsters and been at the heart of her local community for four decades.
Ant and Dec said they wanted to celebrate all she had done as a teacher, and how she had gone the extra mile arranging care home visits by the school choir, spending lunch hours with youngsters needing extra help or support and doing walks for charity.
Willerby CEO Peter Munk added: “Mrs Crawley is such an inspirational and deserving person. It’s a pleasure to make her retirement dreams a reality and to be part of such an amazing surprise shared with millions of TV viewers.
"We’re looking forward to delivering the caravan and handing Mrs Crawley the keys. We know she will enjoy many happy times in her fantastic new home from home."