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Gareth Malone unveils new choir
A chip shop worker and a performer who starred in TV dramas as a child are among the singers chosen to be in Gareth Malone's new choir.
They have been recruited after the choirmaster and broadcaster launched a national appeal to create a new ensemble following the success of his Military Wives, who topped the singles charts at Christmas 2011.
Gareth has already raised eyebrows with his choice of repertoire for the new album after it emerged the playlist included a choral cover of the rap track Guillotine by Death Grips.
The group, to be known as Gareth Malone's Voices, includes James Newby, 20, from Leicestershire, who works in a fish and chip shop, and 18-year-old George McCarthy, who has acted on TV and made an appearance in Casualty.
Another recruit Lara Rebekah Harvey, 21, from Welwyn, Hertfordshire, has also been in the spotlight before, starring as a young Jane Austen and the daughter of Charles Darwin in programmes more than a decade ago. She went on to train as a singer, appearing on an album by composer Karl Jenkins.
The 17-strong line-up also includes a number of others who have worked with choirs or perform regularly as soloists. They applied after Gareth - who came to prominence on BBC2 series The Choir - started a hunt for accomplished young singers to put together a new group who would work with a more experimental range of songs and could inspire a generation of young people.
Gareth said: "It's a real pleasure to work with such talented young people who have a zest for music and a passion for spreading the word about choral music.
"I want this choir to be an example, and for young people in this country to want to join in and think 'they did it, so why can't I?'."
The album, called Voices, is to be released on November 4 and features guest vocals by Fyfe Dangerfield from Guillemots.
The album is also expected to include tracks made famous by acts such as Fleet Foxes and Alicia Keys.