Kingsland Road lads return to Hackney stomping ground to surprise school tots

Boyband Kingsland Road visit Millfields primary school, photo Dieter Perry

Boyband Kingsland Road visit Millfields primary school, photo Dieter Perry - Credit: Archant

The five lads from X Factor’s boy band Kingsland Road returned to their old stomping ground as they paid youngsters a surprise to sing their school’s Christmas charity single with them.

The five lads from Kingsland Road - Jay Scott, Josh Zare, Joe Conaboy, JJ Thompson and Matt Cahill - who were knocked out of the ITV talent show last month, went to their East London roots as they visited Millfields in Hilsea Street to promote the the school’s charity single, C-H-R-I-S-T-M-A-S, which is part of UNICEF’s A Song for Syria Campaign.

While a fifth of funds raised will go towards children in the war-torn country, the rest will be spent on a £250,000 revamp of the Lower Clapton school’s playground to incorporate orchards and a sports area.

The children knew they were going to be on television but had no idea the boys from Haggerston - who named themselves after the stretch of A10 running from Stoke Newington to Shoreditch – were coming along.

“We sung with the choir and they showed us up a little bit,” said Josh.

“All the kids were brilliant and really well behaved and it was great to be part of what they are doing too.

“It was nostalgic going back to Hackney, it reminds us this is where we started and this is where we are now, we just need to keep going, we are chasing the big dream and we’re not going to give up.”

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Since the three-hour visit last Tuesday, the lads have been gigging in Manchester, Scotland and Birmingham.

Josh said: “There are definitely a lot of people out there who are getting behind us, today we had to do a radio interview, we tweeted about it and turned up and there were a good 60 people waiting outside for us.

“It’s just the nicest thing for people to give you that reception, it’s incredible.”

Head teacher Jane Betsworth said the children were very excited.

“They all wanted autographs, they were very nice boys,” she said.

“They spoke to lots of children and sang with them and did some dancing.

“They said our song is ingrained in their head, it’s raised awareness of the cause.”

The visit was filmed for ITV’s morning programme Daybreak, as part of a series which saw celebrities surprising children at primary schools.

Rough Copy had surprised children at Jubilee Primary School in Stoke Newington the previous week and gave them tips as they prepared for their Christmas Carol concerts.