Northern Ireland

Ant and Dec 'rescue' County Down choir on BGT

St Patrick's choir Image copyright St Patrick's Primary School
Image caption St Patrick's Primary School choir had to restart their performance after a technical issue

Ant and Dec stepped in to rescue a primary school choir from County Down after a technical hitch on Britain's Got Talent.

St Patrick's Primary School from Drumgreenagh, near Rathfriland, was taking part in the ITV talent show when there was an issue with their music.

Music teacher Patricia McCaughey said the legendary Geordie presenting duo "came to the rescue".

It meant the choir could start again, without any further glitches.

The 39 children - aged eight to 12 - received praise from the judges for their performance of Katy Perry's hit song Roar, in the semi-final of the show on Monday night.

Music teacher Patricia McCaughey told the BBC that technical problems "happen to the greatest artists in the world".

"The children didn't notice there was anything in particular wrong, they just knew the little introduction hadn't been played.

'Performance of their lives'

Image copyright PA
Image caption School principal praised Ant and Dec who "came on stage to the rescue"

"They stood and waited and the section of the song that was played, wasn't what they were waiting for.

"Thankfully Ant and Dec came on stage to the rescue and it all started again.

"They had rehearsed for hours, days and months and gave the performance of their lives. Their little personalities shone through".

Dec even posed for photographs, wearing one of the school's emerald green jumpers.

"Our school uniform is quite distinctive; we're known far and wide for it," said headmistress Sorcha Lyness.

"It was suggested that we might like to bring over a school jumper for Dec. We did have to get him a slightly bigger one!

"He was such a good sport. When we saw him dressed with his shirt and jumper over it, we were delighted".

After completing their song, St Patrick's was praised by judge Simon Cowell for their "calm" in the face of technical difficulties.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Simon Cowell said he "loved" the choir's personalities

"I know the chaos that was going up in the gallery, where they direct the show, when this going wrong and you were so calm," he told them.

"You sounded amazing and you know what I love about you lot? I love your personalities."

David Williams said it was a "fantastic performance" and that all the members were "singing with passion".

Alesha Dixon said the choir should be "extremely proud" while Amanda Holden added that the choir "represented your school brilliantly".

The school was knocked out of the competition following Monday's semi-final.

However, Ms McCaughey said it had not dampened their sprits, as they had had a fabulous time and had been thoroughly "spoiled".

Singer Kyle Tomlinson and magicians DNA were voted through to the final.

The choir was previously named BBC Radio Ulster School Choir of the Year in 2016.

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