Newham’s Chobham Academy scoop top slot at glee club grand final

Chobham Academy Glee Club celebrate third prize with Tamzin Outhwaite and John Partridge.

Chobham Academy Glee Club celebrate third prize with Tamzin Outhwaite and John Partridge. - Credit: Jack Petchey Foundation

School pupils celebrated with former Eastenders actress Tamzin Outhwaite after taking third place at the Jack Petchey Glee Club Challenge Grand Final on Sunday.

The success of the students from Chobham Academy in Cheering Lane, Newham is even more remarkable as none of the group is stage school trained and only came together for the competition.

The fourteen pupils took home a trophy and £750 after performing for a panel of celebrity judges including Tamzin and West End performer John Partridge at the Indigo theatre in the O2 Arena.

Tamzin said: “This event reminds me why I came into this business.

“I wept. I laughed. We were all moved. Yet again I was overwhelmed as they were all so different and talented.

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“It was very hard to score but we ended up deciding it was the groups who moved us and the hairs on the back of our necks stood up.”

John who is currently touring in Chicago the Musical added: “It gets harder to choose each year.

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“Everyone worked very hard and the standard reminded me of auditions which are tough.

“They are worthy winners.”

Dance teacher Georgia Jones, who manages the group said: “Everyone is buzzing and we are really proud.

“Just getting to the final was a big achievement but we never thought we could win anything.”

To reach the final the group took part in a boot camp before performing in regional finals at Barking’s Broadway theatre last month.

Founder and newly knighted Sir Jack Petchey, 90, who set up the competition added: “I am passionate that we enable young people to be recognised, valued and rewarded for their achievements and positive contributions to society.

“The Glee Club Challenge is a wonderful example of showing us what can be achieved.

“They are all winners in my eyes.”

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