Only Way Is Essex singer owes it to Woodford school

THEY may be tipped for the top 10, but for reality TV star and singer Jessica Wright, her passion for singing had a humble beginning – at her Woodford Green school.

The 25-year-old spoke to The Recorder about how reality TV show, The Only Way Is Essex, helped catapult her band Lola to overnight attention.

“My passion for singing and performing started at Bancroft’s,” she said. “My dream was nurtured there – Bancroft’s helped me get where I am today.”

The group, who released their debut single, Claustrophobic, last week, revealed they had no regrets about appearing on the ITV2 show.

“It’s really given us a boost,” said Lauren Lindsey, 20, of Loughton.

“We’ve only been together 10 months, but before this I was working in insurance and it feels like a whole new world to me being in Lola.”

Jessica, whose brother Mark appeared as a main character, brushed off negative publicity surrounding his behaviour.

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“It’s a shame that the press jump on things like that, but I think we’ve all come out of this OK.”

The group, who will perform at the Archant Business Awards in Planit Embankment Gardens, London, on Wednesday, charted at number 58 on Friday.

Amba Wood, 19, of Rise Park, Romford, said she was chosen for the group at an audition in Stapleford Abbots five months ago.

“We knew the show was coming up in the summer, so we kept it in mind. We didn’t know how much it would take off.

“I was in a duo called Ammo a few years ago, and have always wanted a career on stage. I can’t believe it’s finally happening.”

The only band member not to hail from Essex, Linzi Peel, of Chorleywood, Herts, added: “Essex girls are so much fun. Working with three of them, I definitely can’t say a bad word about them.”