AN 11-year-old – who claims to see dead people – is one of the stars of a new TV programme that gives youngsters the chance to voice their opinions.
Sabden Primary School pupil Eleanor Riding, who said she speaks to her dead great-grandmother most nights before going to sleep, was picked to take part in the Channel 4 show, Dinner At 11.
She said she loved filming the programme and meeting other children of a similar age to talk about some of the most important issues of the day, including benefits cheats, gay marriage and broken homes, while they enjoy a three-course meal.
‘Tomboy’ Eleanor, who dreams of being an actress when she grows up and enjoys playing football, said: “It was really interesting.
“I made a lot of friends who were all different to me.
“They all had different beliefs and we talked about politics, religion, school and bullying.
“My favourite topic was religion because my mum is a medium.
“At night I sit in my bedroom and my great-grandma comes and I speak to her.”
Eleanor’s mum Angela Riding, who works as a funeral minister, said she was proud of her daughter’s achievements and how she had come across on the television.
She said: “I think the programme is a superb idea because it is about time people sat up and listened to the next generation.
“There were some very strong characters around the table, but Eleanor had some very valid points.
“Some people have called the children precocious, but my daughter is from a working class background and she was certainly not born with a silver spoon in her mouth.”
Mrs Riding, whose husband Stephen is a gas engineer, said Eleanor had always been able to communicate with dead people, meaning she had a lot of respect for those who had passed away.
The mother-of two added: “Eleanor has come out of this experience with her eyes wide open.
“She is a special kid, she is amazing and she has got a lot of opin- ions. ”
Dinner At 11 screened earlier this week and can be watched on 4OD.