Simon Cowell took time-off from X Factor yesterday to pay a flying visit to the BRIT School in Croydon.
“The second I pulled up I thought, ‘Why didn’t I go to a school like this?’ I would have loved it, because I hated school so much. I was so bored, it was so dusty and old-fashioned,” Cowell said.
“You walk in here, everyone’s having fun, there’s a good energy, you can tell they love being at the school, and just, enthusiasm and optimism.”
Cowell visited the school and the Nordoff Robbins facility in the grounds ahead of being honoured at November’s Music Industry Trust Awards, which is held to raise money for the school and the music therapy charity.
The BRIT School is regarded as the country’s leading performing arts and technology state school. Past pupils have included Adele, Jessie J, Leona Lewis and the late Amy Winehouse.
Cowell highlighted the brilliance of Adele’s performance at a past Brits Awards. “I can always remember that incredible Brits performance … for three minutes it was just mesmerising. When you’ve got that kind of talent, you don’t need tricks,” Cowell said.
“Enjoy this time,” Cowell told pupils as he toured the school’s extensive facilities with the principal, Stuart Worden. “The getting there is the most fun of this job.”
Much of the BRIT’s educational offering is practically based: as well as the usual classrooms, it offers a working television studio, workshops for stage-craft and a recording studio, all of which Cowell toured. He watched two students performing in the studio, and congratulated them after their session, saying: “That was great.”
Croydon Council’s press office was unable to confirm that Tony Newman, the leader of the council, said today, “Bugger! Did I miss the chance to appear in another photo-op?”
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