Eight-year-old Mackenzie Toal, from Prudhoe, has seen off competition from scores of youngsters, to be appointed intu Metrocentre’s first ever Head of Fun.
The role is geared at making a trip to the Gateshead shopping centre even more appealing for young visitors and will involve everything from reviewing toys to helping out Santa’s elves at Christmas time.
And the panel of judges, who told Mackenzie, “you’re hired,” said the schoolboy “ticked all our boxes.
“We were looking for someone extra special; a really cool, creative and confident kid,” said intu Metrocentre general manager Patsie Beaton, “and we found it in Mackenzie.
“He’s bubbly and confident and just has that special spark – and I certainly think he’s going to keep us all in line.”
Among his tasks – which he will carry out in school holidays and half terms breaks – Mackenzie will give his opinion on all the centre’s children’s activities and test new restaurants and leisure activities for child friendliness.
He will also get to meet Santa and his elves and test out all new toys sold in the centre – so he will be among the first in the region to find out all about new crazes and toy trends.
“I’m mega pleased to have been picked for this,” he said. “I think I’m very fun and I love making up games in the school playground. My friends all say they’re very good games – they’re going to be very happy for me when I tell them.”
The youngster will be supported in his new role by the Metrognomes and by a newly appointed Deputy Head of Fun, six-year-old Myah Rose Wilson, from Sunderland.
“I’m so excited,” said Myah, “because I love the Metrognomes. When I was five I liked Rusty best but now I’m six I don’t have favourites, I like them all the same. In fact, I was at the Metrocentre watching them when I was told I had got this job.”
In exchange for their hard work, Mackenzie and Myah will be paid handsomely in gift vouchers and toys.
“This really is a dream opportunity for any youngster,” said Patsie, “and we’re delighted to welcome Mackenzie and Myah to the intu Metrocentre family.”