Hosts of The Great Australian Spelling Bee Grant Denyer and Chrissie Swan. Contributed Channel Ten.
Hosts of The Great Australian Spelling Bee Grant Denyer and Chrissie Swan. Contributed Channel Ten.

Look out for this South Burnett face on your TV screen

IF YOU turn on your TV this Sunday night, some of you might get a bit of a surprise when the familiar face of Nanango's very own James lights up the screen.

The 12-year-old Nanango boy, who made it on to The Great Australian Spelling Bee, said his appearance on the show was very much kept under wraps until now.

"It's going to be a bit of a surprise when some of my friends see me on TV," he said.

Although filming finished months ago, James said he still vividly remembered the day he found out he made it on to the show.

"I was on the computer and mum suddenly said she got an email saying I was on," he said.

"I couldn't believe it.

"When I applied I didn't even think it was a possibility, I thought I'd just give it a go and see what happens."

SPELLING BEE: JAMES Walbutton from South Nanango on the set of The Great Australian Spelling Bee.
SPELLING BEE: James from South Nanango. Nigel Wright

While he said it was a shock, he said the real rush came when he stepped out onto the spelling bee stage for the first time.

"I was so thrilled, it was a really exciting moment for me," he said.

James said it was all very on stage, but the moment he stepped off it was all fun and games.

"There were so many things that go on behind the scenes too, that you just don't know about," he said.

"Grant Denyer and Chrissie Swan were so great. Grant was really funny as well.

"They're both pretty much what they look like on TV."

The 12-year-old Nanango boy said competition was rife on the show, but the kids all "made great friends".

"There weren't that many mind games; some contestants got really into it and some just loved being there," he said.

"I was one of those people."

While James made it to the top 36, where the show started filming, he said he could not divulge much more than that.

One thing he could share was the secret to his success - reading.

"The thing that got me onto the show would be my love of words, my love of reading," he said.

"I think it takes you into another world, lets you escape the norm."

To see James on The Great Australian Spelling Bee, tune in at 6.30pm this Sunday on Ten.