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Burnley mum and son were game to battle it out in TV spotlight

Gemma and Noah and their fellow gamers are filmed for the BBC children's current affairs programme Newsround.
Gemma and Noah and their fellow gamers are filmed for the BBC children's current affairs programme Newsround.
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A mum and son, who share a passion for gaming, are set to become mini celebrities.


Gemma Taylor and her son, Noah Bithell, were invited to take part in a competition to celebrate the 35th anniversary of Nintendo Mario Bros.

Gemma Taylor and her son Noah Bithell prepare to battle it out at the Arcade Club

Gemma Taylor and her son Noah Bithell prepare to battle it out at the Arcade Club

Pitched against each other in the hugely popular iconic game, there was extra pressure on the duo as they were filmed by the BBC for the children's current affairs show Newsround.

And as both Gemma and Noah (11), who live in Burnley, are naturally shy it was a big moment for them.

A devoted Mario fan for over 30 years, Gemma said: "When we were asked to take part and told about the filming I was hesitant at first because I hate even having my picture taken and Noah is the same.

"But we decided to face our fears together and just do it."

Gemma and Noah, a pupil at Christ the King RC Primary School, Burnley, caught the attention of TV producers as it was unusual for a mum and son to be such devoted gamers.

And when she turned up wearing a Mario themed dress she ran up herself from a duvet cover, Gemma's moment in the spotlight was sealed.

She said: "It was a lot of fun and a great experience."

The competition took place at the Arcade Club in Bury, a gamer's mecca which is packed with dozens of original game consoles and gaming machines including Nintendo 64, PC Engine, Playstation, Sega Saturn and Xbox.

It was originally launched in Haslingden at the back of a computer shop by owner Andy Palmer.

Gemma and Noah are regular visitors to the club which caught the attention of world famous director Steven Spielberg when he was making his latest film Ready Player One.

Scouting for original gaming machines for the science fiction adventure set in the future, he borrowed a couple from the Arcade to use in the film.

The programme will be aired at the end of June when viewers can see who was the victor and who had to do the Mario walk of shame.