The jumping girls of A-level results: Where are they now?
‘We were there for half an hour until they were happy with the jump’
For one cringe day every single year the front pages of newspapers are adorned with smiling girls jumping and waving their record shattering A-level results.
Pictured beside headlines such as “Beautiful girls got their A-level results… but where are all the boys?” their futures all looked bright and shiny.
From there they disappear into the three year uni void and are never heard of again, until now.
Having safely landed, we tracked down the airborne girls from results days past.
But what became of the awkwardly grinning and bouncy girls from years gone by?
Fresh-faced Melzie Emmerton was snapped by a photographer on results day after bagging A*AA last year.
Melzie, now 20, has just finished her first year studying Medicine at Sheffield and looks back fondly on her jumping day.
She told The Tab: “I definitely didn’t volunteer for the photo! They chose who they wanted.
“It was so heavily coordinated. We were there for about half an hour jumping and they kept moving us around and changing it up.
“It took ages for them to get one they were happy with, and they made our teachers do one too.”
What’s more, the photographer even asked for a number of different ecstatic A-level celebration reactions.
She added: “They asked for certain facial expressions like ‘smile in this one, scream in that one’ and in some they’d make us hold our envelopes in the air.
“We were all just waiting to go celebrate.”
Melzie’s pic was so photogenic it appeared in the Telegraph and the Sun,
“As to results day itself I don’t remember that much apart from obviously being really happy that I got in.
“I was just hanging out with friends and family in the day before three sets of pres that night and going out.
“Oh and one of my friends maya ending the night by burning herself on shisha coals.”
One year ago this joyful snap of girls jumping made it into a stack of the national papers.
And one of it’s stars, Olivia McBride is now 19 and at Birmingham studying French with Law after getting A*AB.
“It took the photographer around eight shots to get it right.
“He was just like ‘jump off this step wave your grades’.
“They approached us because we looked happy I think, and asked if we would so we said yes.”
It might seem unlikely given the carefree air which practically oozes from the jumping girl photos, but it had been an extremely stressful morning for Olivia.
She said: “I remember frantically checking UCAS every minute in the morning and was sat on my mums bed at about 7am and kept refreshing.
“It came through that I had been accepted to my first choice me and my mum both started crying.
“Then I had to go into school to get my results, but it didn’t really matter as I knew I’d secured my place.”
Things have been going well for Olivia since the fateful photo was taken, and she’s even met Spencer Matthews from Made in Chelsea.
Olivia said: “I’m really enjoying my course and uni life at Birmingham.
“Next year I’m planning to do my year abroad studying law in Canada too. I’ve made loads of friends and am really enjoying the course.”
Here’s a lovely vintage photo of some girls gazing cheerfully at their A-level results from back in 2010.
Not content with just admiring her own score, the girl on the right has apparently been told by the photographer to glance wondrously at everyone else’s.
Milly Cannon, now 24, was picking up her three As when a snapper approached.
She said: “I remember we had all been out the night before to a club in Brighton and seen a Michael Jackson tribute act.
“So as cliche as it is – we were all very hungover.”
Luckily they didn’t ask her to jump, and the picture looks slightly less forced because of it.
Milly said: “The photo was actually pretty genuine. We were all looking at our results on the lawn and then I think they just came over and took the photo.
“I got 3 As as did all the others in the photo so we were all very happy and relieved.”
After being pictured opening her results all those years ago, things have being going well for Milly.
She said: “Then I went on to Exeter University doing International Relations and Marketing.
“I’ve now been working in London for two years, started at a sponsorship agency in sports, fashion and entertainment which I left in March this year to work for a fine art photographer called David Yarrow.
“I manage all gallery relationships, marketing and events plus I’m off to Detroit on Sunday for a photo shoot which should be very interesting.
“I am still very good friends with one of the girls in the photo to my right who I see often.
“The other two I still see occasionally when we have big school catch ups when we are all back in Brighton – which is rarely now.”
Catherine Reid was snapped a little earlier than the rest at the age of 16.
A photo of her mid air made the tabloids after she bagged a school placement at Oxford.
She said: “I can’t remember exactly how long it took but I was told to jump higher and smile more a lot.
“It was exhausting with all the jumping up and down!
“They were obviously professional photographers so the lighting had to be just right.
“The News of the World were trying to encourage more state school kids to apply to go to university there and we had to apply if we wanted to be in the paper.”
Catherine, now 22, is a little skeptical about why she was picked for the jumping snap.
She said: “I think I was chosen because my parents were divorced and I was from Birmingham – not somewhere typically posh like Surrey.
“They just loved the sob story.
“It was a really hot day and we were taken outside the Bodlian.”
Cat added: “I applied for Oxford but didn’t get in, so it’s funny looking back at the article now and the News of the World proclaiming they got all these promising students into Oxford.
“I ended up at Liverpool to study English and now work full-time in London.”