Sunderland school sees second old boy snapped-up by Superstar

Michael Pickering alongside Nicola Brazil in All the Fun of The Fair. Michael has been selected to play Peter in Jesus Christ Superstar.
Michael Pickering alongside Nicola Brazil in All the Fun of The Fair. Michael has been selected to play Peter in Jesus Christ Superstar.
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WHAT would Andrew Lloyd Webber do without Thornhill School?

Another former pupil of the Sunderland school has been called into the fold to perform in the Jesus Christ Superstar arena tour.

Michael Pickering, 27, from Barnes, made it to the final 30 of the Superstar TV show and got to sing at Andrew Lloyd Webber’s house in Majorca, but didn’t make it to the live shows.

However, after he left, Michael was contacted by the show’s producers asking if he would audition for the role of Peter in the huge rock opera national tour.

Michael said: “I was gutted because it was an opportunity I wanted to take. I left the place thinking, well, that’s it, but then I got a call from my agent.”

After an audition, Michael was hired for the role of Peter.

“It’s a great role to play and he has a great duet with Mel C, Could We Start Again, Please?

“Working with her will be lovely and I get to work with other big names,” said Michael.

Michael is thrilled to be working alongside fellow ex-Thornhill pupil Ben Forster.

The pair sang What’s The Buzz?, from Superstar, in a group audition in front of the judges.

He said: “We met on the bus to Superstar Island and Ben asked if I was Michael Pickering.

“I recognised the accent of course and I had heard all about Ben from school and how well he was doing. It’s going to be really brilliant working alongside him.”

The talented performer also credits the school’s music teachers for pushing him into singing.

“Mrs Bennett and Mr Leadbeater were great.

“I owe Mr Leadbeater a lot. He forced me to sing in front of my GCSE music class and it went from there.

“He pushed me in this direction then Mrs Bennett got me in the choir and the talent show.”

Michael went on to attended the Art Education School in London and after graduating, performed in Wicked the musical, High School Musical, the Mamma Mia World Tour and Batman Live.

“I’m very lucky to have done arena tours before. It’s a great opportunity, and I think the big names will relish the chance to show everyone what they can do.”

Dad John is thrilled about Michael’s new role.

The 59-year-old, from Washington, said: “It was great watching it on the TV and we were all so pleased to see Ben go all the way. It’s just great to see two Thornhill lads go on to be in such a major production.”

To follow Michael’s progress in the Jesus Christ Superstar arena tour log on to his twitter address @mickpickering.

Twitter: @sunechohannah