Sunderland schoolgirls perform alongside Gary Barlow

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SCHOOLGIRLS have been showing off their special selfies at school this week after a surprise encounter with superstar Gary Barlow.

Olivia Colley, 15, who attends Sandhill View School, and Hannah Lindstedt, 16, a Thornhill School pupil, captured themselves with the singer in front of a 9,000-strong concert crowd.

The girls were part of a choir who sang with Gary at his recent Metro Radio Arena gig in Newcastle and they asked for this cheeky snap just as they were about to leave the stage.

The multi-million record-selling artist was more than happy to oblige before jokingly asking them to get off stage.

The makeshift choir, made up of pupils taught by East Herrington-based vocal coach Kayleigh Lindstedt and Timesteps Dance School of Seaham, came together to save the day after a school choir dropped out of the performance.

It meant they only had a couple of days to learn the words to Sing, which was written by the former Take That star and composer Andrew Lloyd Webber to commemorate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

But the group pulled off the performance without a hitch.

Vocal coach Kayleigh said: “Olivia told me she was going to sneak her phone on stage to take a selfie and I had visions of bodyguards running on and carting her off.

“She took the phone on and hid it in her pocket. I didn’t think she was going to do it, then just as they finished she asked him for a picture. He said ‘of course’.”

Kayleigh added: “It’s a great memento for the girls to have.

“The gig was a sell-out so the choir performed in front of 9,000 people, it was a great experience for them and the response they got from the crowd was just brilliant.

“As they were walking out at the end everyone was congratulating them.

“Gary has a local school choir perform Sing with him on every date of the tour but, on this occasion, we think the school choir must have dropped out.

“Angela Ferguson, the teacher from Timesteps, had been asked to help but she didn’t have enough children of the right age to perform so some of the young people I teach joined them.

“We only got the music on the Wednesday and the gig was on the Saturday, but they pulled it together and it all worked out.”