BLUE Peter's Helen Skelton cooked up a surprise for a County Durham pupil when she turned up at his school.

Gareth Metcalf, a year nine pupil at Teesdale School, Barnard Castle, was in history class when the popular presenter poked her head round the door and whisked him off to do some filming.

The reason for Helen's visit was all down to Gareth's love of cooking.

During the 2012 summer holidays, he created his own cookbook and included some of his favourite recipes.

He sent it to the Blue Peter offices and it was shown as one of the CBBC show’s featured items in January, earning Gareth an iconic Blue Peter badge.

Impressed by the work that had gone into the book, Blue Peter decided to follow this up with visit him at school.

After interrupting history, Helen showed Gareth's classmates a personalised message from the youngster's food heroes, The Hairy Bikers.

The rest of the morning was spent cooking some of his favourite dishes, such as Toad in the Hole and Chocolate Brownies. All the action was filmed as Helen and Gareth performed their very own cookery demonstration.

His presentation skills in front of the TV cameras impressed the Blue Peter team.

Helen said: “For me he’s up there with Ed Sheeran and Misha B, he is a natural in front of the camera and I look forward to seeing him on TV in the future.”

John Southeran, co-principal of Teesdale School, said the Blue Peter visit had been a memorable day for Gareth and all the students in the school.

“The hardest part was keeping the filming secret,” he said.

“Gareth's enthusiasm and passion shone through. He has followed his passion and dreams.

"We were delighted with his performance and the conduct of all our students during the day.”

Those wishing to sample some of Gareth's cooking can do so at Teesdale School's Big Breakfast community event which is being held at St Mary' Parish Hall, in the heart of Barnard Castle, on Saturday, May 18, from 10am.

* To see Gareth’s appearance on Blue Peter, tune into the CBBC channel tomorrow (Thursday, May 2) at 5.30pm. Gareth intends to auction his cookbook for charity once it is returned from the show.