Little Ilford School were so lucky to host the stars of "The Wonderland" from the CBBC show "Almost Never" last week. We got to see Nathaniel Dass, Oakley Orchard, Harry Still and Tillie Amartey rehearse and perform as part of their show.
It was fascinating to see how much hard work goes on “behind the scenes” of a TV programme and to watch the producers, directors, musicians and technicians working so hard and put so much effort and time on what eventually becomes a two minute clip!
The performance itself was absolutely amazing and mesmerising, leaving everyone cheering and jumping with joy. The band sang three songs for us; two from their show and one by Shawn Mendes "There's Nothing Holding me Back." The crowd of Year 7, 8 and 9 lucky students went wild and the band said Little Ilford was their wildest and loudest crowd. After the performance the band and Tilly signed autographs and did group pictures with us. I felt so lucky that I was able to stay behind and sneak in a quick interview.
I found out the show began last year in June and that they filmed season 1 in Cardiff and season 2 in Belfast. The cast told me that none of them knew each other and for the three boys it was their first TV experience. To bond they go to places like Go Ape - how cool! Tillie Amartey told us that although she had worked on TV before this was a completely new experience for her.
Saven Kotecha, who has written for Ariana Grande, The Weekend and One Direction, also wrote “The Wonderland” songs, so the band are obviously pretty good, however they did have to audition for their roles before the series started.
The boys told me they have been singing and acting their whole life and Tillie has been acting since she was 6 and really enjoys the gym.
Nathaniel is the lead singer he can play the guitar, piano and the bass guitar, but guitar is his favourite. He also plays hockey and tennis in his spare time. Oakley can play the guitar, drums, bass drums and the saxophone but his overall favourite is also the guitar. He really enjoys running and football. Harry can play the piano guitar drums and regards his voice as an instrument. He is obsessed with gaming and is a pro at Fortnite. They are all like a family and have a lot in common but many differences is well. Harry said his favourite holiday destination is Greece whilst Nathaniel chose Mauritius. All of them said summer is their favourite time of the year except Harry who loves Christmas as he gets presents.
As for education, Nathaniel and Oakley are focusing solely on music. Harry is studying online and Tillie goes to college part time.
We all know stars have to constantly have hair and make-up done and have perfect clothes so I asked them about their opinions on that: Nathaniel summed it up by saying "When you first start it's really weird and awkward as you have people in your personal space, but you kinda become numb to it and just get used to it".
Nathaniel has a catchphrase "This time next year we'll be number one"; I asked him what that's about and he replied that it became so famous on social media and that it just caught on almost like a meme.
A huge thank you to Saltbeef TV and Little Ilford School for giving us this amazing opportunity, and we hope that The Wonderland come and visit us again.
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4 December 2019
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