Diversity - pride of Barking and Dagenham

John Phillips THE surprise victory of street dance troupe Diversity in the Britain s Got Talent final has had an entire school, neighbours and their dance studio in raptures. Roger Leighton, headteacher at Sydney Russell School in Dagenham, where Mitchell Craske, 13, s

John Phillips

THE surprise victory of street dance troupe Diversity in the Britain's Got Talent final has had an entire school, neighbours and their dance studio in raptures.

Roger Leighton, headteacher at Sydney Russell School in Dagenham, where Mitchell Craske, 13, studies said yesterday (Wednesday) there had been huge celebrations after the 11-strong group won the TV talent show on Saturday night.

Elated neighbours of Mitchell and his 19-year-old brother Sam expressed their joy and revealed how much their performance - watched by more than 19 million people - had meant to their dad, Paul.


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Some of the neighbours, in Nutbrowne Road, Dagenham, planned to hold further celebrations after hearing the teenagers had been propelled to national stardom.

The Danceworks studios in New Road, Dagenham, where the brothers and other Diversity members including former Robert Clack pupil Warren Russell, 18, rehearsed their moves, said their triumph was "brilliant".

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Mr Leighton, 53, praised year eight pupil Mitchell who missed school on Monday as he toured TV studios with the group.

He said: "He's an excellent student. He's a very hard worker. Though he has been allowed some extraordinary time outside school, obviously, we're sure he's such a good student he'll make up for all the work he's missed.

"The whole school has been following his progress. As you can imagine there were huge celebrations when they won on Saturday. Everyone came with a smile on their face on Monday. The school is very proud of this huge success."

Peter Fuchs, 41, a close neighbour of the Craskes, said: "They've put a lot of effort into it. It's great a diverse troupe has won like that." He added: "Paul was delighted", and said: "It meant a lot to him."

Martina Kamenistiakova, 31, of Nutbrowne Road, said: "We're hoping to have a party now we know they're around here."

Paul Burton, 25, said: "It's nice they've won and they're here."

A Danceworks spokesman added: "It's brilliant. What more can you say? They were fantastic."

Diversity will be part of a nationwide Britain's Got Talent tour, which kicks off next week. They will also take to the stage at Hyde Park's Wireless Festival on July 5 and at November's Royal Variety Performance.

The boys won praise from Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who hailed them for promoting racial harmony. He said they were "a great example of diversity in the country".The group, who were 2007 UK Street Dance Champions, banked �100,000 for winning at the weekend.

* Do you know any of the Diversity boys? Email john.phillips@bdrecorder.co.uk

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