BBC TV presenter and marine biologist Monty Halls has given this year’s Amy Key lecture at Truro High School for Girls.

Accompanied by his dog Reuben, Monty joined more than 100 old girls, current sixth form students, parents and staff for a four course dinner before delivering presentation.

Illustrated by slides and videos, he talked about his eight years as a Royal Marine, his decision to become an explorer and his "lucky break" move into television.

With ten acclaimed series under his belt – including BBC 2’s recent Fisherman’s Apprentice, Channel 5’s Monty’s Diving Mysteries and BBC 2’s Great Barrier Reef – he had plenty of stories to tell. He also had lots of advice for the Year 13 girls who will shortly be leaving the school.

“Engage with the people around you and learn from them,” he said.

Encouraging them to take their chances and live life to the full, he also said: “You’ll never ever hate yourself for failing but you’ll hate yourself forever if you don’t try.”

The Amy Key lecture was first established three years ago and takes its name from the school’s first headmistress. It is intended to inspire the students who are leaving – each of whom is given a badge, on behalf of the Old Girls’ Association (OGA), by the speaker.

“Monty Halls was excellent,” said Sue Dowding, Chairman of the OGA. “Everyone enjoyed his talk so much that he was given a standing ovation. It really was a memorable evening.”

The event was sponsored by investment company Charles Stanley and locally-based children’s label company My Name Label. Special thanks also go to the St Michael’s Hotel and Spa in Falmouth, Saffron Restaurant, the One Eyed Cat, ASK Restaurant Truro, Trennick Mill Restaurant, the Norway Inn, the Bodmin and Wenford Railway, Ralph Michell Farm Butchers and the Hall for Cornwall for their support of the event.