NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Emeli Sande surprises school pupils in return to Alford

Emeli Sande
Image caption Emeli Sande's album is the Christmas number one

Pop star Emeli Sande made a surprise visit to pupils and teachers at two Aberdeenshire schools during a festive trip back home.

The bestselling artist, who is from Alford in Aberdeenshire, has had an incredible 2012.

Sande performed at both the opening and closing ceremonies of the London Olympics and her album has gone back to number one for Christmas.

She said relaxing with family was the best way to end the year.

The singer, whose album Our Version Of Events has sold more than one million copies, celebrated the last day of term on Friday with youngsters at the primary and secondary in Alford - where she herself was a pupil.

She told BBC Scotland: "That was great. My mum had managed to organise the surprise with the head teacher from my primary school and for the academy as well. So we went and surprised the kids.

"It was their last day of the term and they had just come back from their Christmas party and they weren't expecting it at all.

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Media captionPupils treated to early Christmas present when Emeli Sande pops up

"We managed to keep it a secret from the teachers as well so it was really lovely. I sang Next To Me on the piano so it was a really lovely thing to do for Christmas, I think."

Other successes for Sande in 2012 included a hat trick of prizes at this year's Mobo Awards.

She has also toured in the UK and the US.

To-do list

"I'm quite overwhelmed about what has happened," she says.

"I'm excited about what can happen next year if all that could happen this year.

Image caption Sande performed at the Olympics and the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards

"It's incredible. I'm really happy that all the hard work really paid off this year."

Sande picked her performance at the Olympics, an appearance at the Royal Albert Hall and her album going to number one as the highlights of an amazing year.

So what's next for the former medical student?

She said: "At the end of last year I started doing some music for a film, which has always been a big dream of mine.

"I definitely want to pursue that next year and going to the States at the beginning of next year is also a big thing on my to-do list."

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