Season’s greetings: Five-year-old girl gives audience middle finger for 20 minutes while starring as angel in nativity play

Absolute gold, frankness and mirth brought to Essex parents by unwittingly subversive child

Harry Cockburn
Tuesday 17 December 2019 11:14 GMT
Five-year-old girl gives audience middle finger for 20 minutes while starring as angel in nativity play

A five-year-old girl starring as an angel in a school nativity play surprised parents by spending almost the entire performance standing with her two middle fingers raised to the audience.

Ella Legge, who had apparently hurt one of her fingers, spent at least 20 minutes of the half-hour performance waving both middle fingers at her mother during the play in Essex last week.

Magnificent photographs of Ella’s unique performance show her centre stage, dressed in white, wearing a halo of tinsel, while displaying the double-barrelled salute.

Ella’s mother, Carla Bovingdon, 33, said she was thinking, “Oh god Ella, please stop”, but despite mouthing at her daughter to put her hands down, she ultimately had to let her get on with it.

Ms Bovingdon, who lives near Maldon, Essex, said: “It was so funny because she didn’t realise what she was doing.

“She likes to let me know if she’s at all injured, so she was basically trying to show me what she had done from across the room. It was the tiniest little hangnail as well.

“Then she put both her fingers up because she was trying to compare to see if both fingers were hurt.”

This apparently went on for almost the entirety of the play.

Double trouble: Ella goes for both barrels (Kennedy News)

“It was pretty much for the majority of it she was there with her middle finger up. Because I didn’t run over there she kept holding it up as if she was saying, ‘mum, look!’,” Ms Bovingdon said.

“A couple of the teaching assistants had a bit of a giggle. I think where she was standing, and the fact that you don’t watch one child the whole time, I don’t think everyone noticed.

“A few of the older children whispered, ‘Ella’s got her finger up’. Everyone seemed to know what she was doing, but yeah there were a few laughs here and there.

“I was thinking, ‘oh god, Ella please stop’. Because she was doing it so innocently I think most people were thinking, ‘oh bless her’.

“That’s what made it so funny as well, because she was completely oblivious.

“She’s quite endearing normally and is really cute. She likes pretty dresses. Being an angel was perfect for her.”

But Ms Bovingdon has said she had to warn her daughter not to repeat her middle finger-flashing antics for a second performance of the nativity play as it "wouldn’t be funny this time".

“I posted the photos online and she had lots of laughing reactions and funny comments," she said.

“She obviously doesn’t have social media but I was showing her how many people thought it was funny.

“She wanted to say thank you to everyone for liking her picture, but then she said, ‘I don’t know what’s funny though’. She doesn’t get what the joke is.

“She just thinks she looks cute, but doesn’t know why we’re all laughing which is quite funny. When she’s older I will get [the photos] out again to show her.

“It had to be my child. I had to keep mouthing ‘put your finger down’ discreetly, but then I just accepted that she was going to be standing there with her finger up.

“The performance was about half-an-hour long, and I would say 70 per cent of it she had her middle finger up.

“The second performance was much better. There was a little bit of clowning around as per usual for her, but it was fine.”

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