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Brave Terri is now television star

PUBLISHED: 14:00 10 October 2001 | UPDATED: 15:18 03 March 2010

EVERY night Terri Calvesbert is glued to the Television screen, watching for the presenter she knows, and the film of her life.

But patience must prevail, because the new Cover Story documentary called Living Doll that has been filmed of her is to be screened on Anglia TV, at 10.

EVERY night, Terri Calvesbert is glued to the television screen, watching for the

presenter she knows and the film of her life.

The new Cover Story documentary, called Living Doll, that has been filmed about her is to be screened on Anglia TV, at 10.35pm on October 17.

The admiration people feel for the Calvesbert family and courageous Terri is to be reflected on the programme,

produced by Anglia TV. She will also be mentioned on Home Malone at 1.05pm that day.

Terri first became a household name across Suffolk after The Evening Star told how a terrible fire engulfed her home in 1998. We stayed with the tale of her slow progress to recovery over the next three years.

Thousands of readers have followed the high and the low points of her young life – from her long days in hospital struggling to survive 85 per cent burns as her dad Paul slept by her bedside, to her landmark first day at school.

In recognition of the way the story has touched hearts across the county, the Anglia TV documentary was devised to spread the news further.

Presenter Lindsay Brooke and a camera crew have followed Terri's progress this year at the specialist St Andrews Burns Unit, at Broomfield Hospital, Chelmsford.

The team has filmed a year of Terri's life and will tell her amazing story from the beginning in a half-hour programme.

It opens on a serious note with a

reconstruction of the fire itself, showing a firefighter carrying a tiny bundle from the flames in a dark room.

Terri's dad Paul, 27, of Whitton, has been involved throughout, as were Terri's grandparents Mick and Margaret Calvesbert and Dave and Sue Minter.

Lindsay said: "Terri has a way of

reaching out to others, no matter who they are. I have to admit, at times I have had to fight back the tears and sometimes shared a tear or two with the people we spoke to.

"I still can't work out what makes me cry. Am I crying for the pain and suffering Terri has already been through, or am I crying for what lies ahead?

"So far Terri has welcomed the cameras into her life and it has been a privilege to spend time with her.

"But we cannot dwell on the past, we must look to the future, for Terri and others like her.

"I hope this

documentary has made us realise we all have a part to play and that one day everyone will look beyond Terri's scars and see her for the wonderful person she is inside."

Paul said: "The idea came after Anglia TV had a huge response from viewers after featuring Terri on its news programme.

"Terri soon got used to the TV team and they got used to her, so the experience of being filmed wasn't too bad really.

"In fact, she came to love the camera being there and liked people following her around.

"She would act up for the camera and play around, doing something silly to make us all laugh. She isn't as delicate as she used to be!

"Terri was always looking at the camera and talking to the

cameraman Mike to get him to

follow her around.

"It was a bit strange for me at first, being followed everywhere by the crew and having to shut off and ignore the camera.

"They told me not to look directly at the camera, but every so often I found that impossible."

He said the team was very good and helped keep Terri occupied and smiling as she went into theatre for operations, cameras still rolling.

They whisked him and Terri off to Colchester Zoo for a day, to film the pair out of the hospital and filmed Paul at his hobby of ten-pin bowling.

When the team wanted to film Terri at home all day – from the moment she woke up to her bedtime – Paul watched the clock every day for a week and she woke between 7am and 7.30am – so he invited the crew to come at 6.30am.

They arrived silently, crept in without ringing the doorbell and pushed open the bedroom door, camera rolling, only to find Terri sitting on her bed wide awake!

Other times cats miaowing and dogs panting in the background as Terri played at Lindsay's house with her daughter and pets, created a few out-takes.

"Sometimes it took ages to film one little bit," recalled Paul.

But he added: "The filming was a very positive experience for us and it will be good for other people as well to see Terri's progress."

Paul would love another

programme to be filmed in a year's time, to show Terri's progress.

n To make a donation, send a cheque payable to The Terri Calvesbert Appeal, c/o Geraldine Thompson, editor's secretary, The Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN.

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