Educating Yorkshire ended last night with what quite possibly was the most moving one hour of television I have seen for years that didn't feature Remembrance Day. You would have to be the owner of a heart of stone that had been surgically removed, buried in a concrete box and then dropped into the ocean not to have had a tear in your eye or a lump in your throat by the end.
It was uncomfortable, moving, emotionally draining but ultimately the sort of television programme that makes you want to punch the air at the end and applaud those taking part. The 'stars' and let's be honest they were genuine television stars for the night were English teacher Mr Burton and sixteen year old, year eleven student Musharaf.
The first five minutes of the programme set the scene and so hard was it to watch that my wife couldn't bear it and went to bed. Nathalie and myself sat through the hour, she quietly blubbing away and me occassionally raising a manly finger to dab a tear that might be slowly moving down my cheek. Poor Musharaf, if being a teenager isn't hard enough he had to cope with a stammer that had reduced this poor boy to a prisoner in his own body, he had been fine until he was five years old and then suddenly the affliction took hold, he became over the period of his studying at 'big school', in the words of his headmaster, a 'mute'.
The programme was covering the trials and tribulations of both Musharaf and his English teacher as they tried to ready him for the oral English exam that carried with it 20% of the total exams marks - Musharaf needed those 20% to get himself the C grade that would guarantee a place at Huddersfield college.
The genuine light bulb moment and I am sure the moment that launched the grabbing of a thosuand tissue boxes was when Mr Burton told Musharaf that he had watched the film 'The Kings Speech' and had noticed that the King had been cured at one point by having music played in the background. Mr Burton suggested that Musharaf listened to music on his, the teachers mobile phone via the headphones, what happened next was truly remarkable. Musharaf who had been reduced to a few words or half sentences spoken in rhythm to his tapping his thigh with his right hand read a poem without stammering. He read it again and then when the teacher brought the speech therapist into the room he read it again.
The coup de grace though came in the final five minutes of the final programme of what has been an excellent series. The year eleven students were gathered in the assembly hall for a few final words from the head teacher and then the head of year took centre stage. She announced that there was somebody present whose live had changed not once but twice and having been bullied for not being able to speak he now wanted to say something before the year. Musharaf stood behind the lecturn, white headphones on and delivered a speech of thanks to the teachers and his friends and pupils - there wasn't a dry eye in the room, either the assembly hall or our lounge, it was beautiful.
The final credits revealed, in time honoured fashion, the opening of the envelope containing Musharaf's English result - he had got a C and a place at college.
You can read more of Musharaf here in his own words.