Families desperate to find loved ones who have been missing for years hope their emotional appearance on Britain’s Got Talent may finally achieve a breakthrough.
In a tear-jerking audition, The Missing People Choir performed for the judges on ITV tonight, with images of their long lost relatives appearing on the big screen behind them.
Some have not been seen for decades.
Peter Boxell has not seen his son Lee since 1988, when he was 15 years old and vanished in Sutton, South London, after a football match.
Peter told the cameras: “When my son Lee went missing he was 15. He would now be 41, I just want to find him.
"But I know we are not the only ones going through this. We are all in this together and we can all stand by each other.
“Hopefully, some of the youngsters who went missing, their photographs will be shown on the screen behind us and maybe someone will come forward and tell us what has happened to them.
“We all have to live in hope, if there wasn’t hope there would be nothing.
Sarah Godwin, whose son Quentin went missing from his family home in West Auckland, New Zealand, 25 years ago, said: “My son Quentin went missing when he was 18, just walked away from the family home one afternoon after school and was never seen again.
“Having the support of each other makes us stronger, sitting here together makes us stronger and singing together makes us super strong.
“The choir is energising, warming, safe, moving – beyond words. We can each feel our own love and sadness and pain, but we are there for each other and somehow it becomes joyful, too.”
The choir performs the song I Miss You with lyrics written by Mr Boxell which includes the lines: “I never thought I’d be without you.
“I always thought you’d be here safe with me. Maybe tomorrow I’ll wake up to find you.”
Judge Amanda Holden told the choir they “did themselves proud” and says she is hopeful the show will help reunite parents with their missing children.
Amanda told the Mirror: “I looked at all their faces and there was one woman who looked so worn down.
"You could see she had spent years waiting for the phone to ring or the doorbell to go and then she is singing.
“I don’t know how they carry on every day. I can’t imagine anything worse.
“They are talented and they will probably do really well, but really it is a forum. We might actually be able to find someone, wouldn’t that be amazing?”
Alesha Dixon added: “It was so important to tell the story and the fact the show has the platform to do something like that is incredible.
“I think every single person in that room and every single person that will see the show on Saturday has someone that they love and will be able to make that connection and feel for them. I think it goes bigger than the show, it is huge.”
Other members of the choir included Peter Lawrence, whose daughter Claudia , 35, was reported missing on March 19, 2009, after failing to turn up for work as a chef in York.
Also singing was Rachel Edwards, the sister of missing Manic Street Preachers guitaristRichey Edwards
He mysteriously vanished from a London hotel on February 1, 1995, on the eve of the band’s US tour.
The choir’s director James Hawkins said: “Britain’s Got Talent has enabled the choir to realise its true destiny and purpose.
Through singing together on the programme, we are able to reach further than ever before in the search for the families’ missing loved ones. There are few greater platforms than this and it has given us hope.”
After their performance, host Ant wiped tears from his eyes and Simon Cowell said: “I have to pay you absolute respect for what you have just done. Sometimes awareness is as important as anything else.”
And viewers watching at home were also in tears at the performance.
One said: "In bits, watching #BGT."
Another emotional viewer cried: "Oh my god, so heartbreaking."
A third sobbed: "That was beautiful and heartbreaking."
Daughter Claudia Lawrence, 35, disappeared in March 2009 on her way to work as a chef at York University.
He says: “To get a big audience like this is such a fabulous opportunity to get our message across.”
Brother Richey Edwards, 27, of Manic Street Preachers, vanished from a London hotel in 1995.
She says: “It was a privilege to sing. It was a visible and powerful sign to highlight and remember those who are missing.”
Son Charles went missing while backpacking in Canada in 1989, aged 20.
She says: “I joined the choir to be a voice to be heard for the missing and keep up awareness of our missing loved ones, who need to be found.”
Son Lee went missing from South London in 1988, aged 15.
He says: “The choir is an opportunity to meet others who have missing loved ones. Singing gives me the opportunity to openly express my emotions about Lee.”
Daughter of Sandra Hall, 57, who was missing for a month in 2013 before being found dead in West Sussex.
She says: “We’re all really supportive and protective of one another and it feels like one big family now.”
*Britain's Got Talent continues on ITV1 on Saturday at 8pm
*To support the charity Missing People, text FIND to 70660 to donate £5 to the Find Every Child Appeal. Go to missingpeople.org.uk for T&Cs.
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A helpless young boy was getting off the school bus one afternoon when some seriously forceful winds left him feeling down and out.
The child can be seen in a viral Reddit video tumbling in the grass outside his home after getting knocked to the ground by the heavy gusts - while his stack of homework assignments fly far away into the air.
Fellow bus riders caught sight of the entire incident, and can be heard in the background cackling at the kid's minor misfortune as the school bus travels off to its next destination.
One rider in particular, who is shown filming the event, captures his own uncontrollable laughter and goofy grin toward the end - making the silly show even more worthwhile to watch.
Video shows a young boy get knocked over by heavy winds after getting off the school bus
The child can be seen in a viral Reddit video tumbling in the grass outside his home
His stack of homework assignments were shown flying far away into the air during the minor mishap
Fellow bus riders caught sight of the entire incident, and can be heard in the background cackling
The kid makes several attempts to capture his lost papers but can't seen to get a grasp
The winds appeared to be pretty fierce - as the homework is shown soaring across the neighborhood
The bus drives off before anyone can help the school boy gather his belongings
The cameraman captures his own uncontrollable laughter and goofy grin toward the end - making the video even more worthwhile to watch
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