Video/Ipswich: Diversity ready to get Chantry Park dancing

Neon Jungle

Neon Jungle - Credit: Archant

I knew it, Diversity’s Perri Kiely does still get scared when the rest of the Britain’s Got Talent winners are chucking him about the place.

“As much as you practice it, you never know how it’s always going to go, it’s always pretty scary because you’re putting your life in someone else’s hands. You don’t really know what do but as long as you commit to it, it’s always going to go good,” he says.

Supporting McBusted at Ipswich’s Chantry Park on June 29, part of this year’s Ip-art festival, Kiely, Jordan Banjo and the rest of the dance group are no strangers to Ipswich.

“We’re really looking forward to the show, we’ve performed here before and it’s always a great crowd. We always have so much fun and to be there alongside McBusted is just crazy for us,” says Banjo, who admits they all still get starstruck. “Perri was a Busted fan when he was younger... they and McFly are two of the biggest bands of our generation, it really is an honour to be performing alongside them.”

The group, excited about heading back on tour at the end of the year with a rebooted version of their sell-out tour Limitless, are practicing hard for the Ipswich show. They hardly ever stop practicing says Banjo.

“Ashley (Banjo, the group’s leader) is always pushing us... We won five years ago now, that’s a long time and people start to get used to what you do, then people start to expect certain things from you. Thanks to Ash... he’s an amazing choreographer, always there for us and he’s helped us out tremendously, pushing us to the next level.

“We’re always practicing together as hard as we can. We’re together every day, whenever we’re not working, always coming to the studio to train trying to get bigger and better. We always try to eat as healthily as possible, (although) we’d be completely lying if we said we didn’t have a cheeky MacDonalds every now and again, and we have quite a strict physical regime.”

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Switch on any TV talent show, you’ll find an urban dance act of some kind or another inspired by Diversity.

Grateful to BGT and every single one of their fans for changing their lives, helping them live their dream by selling out places like London’s O2 and performing around the world; Banjo says one of their goals when they entered the TV show was to try to bring street dance into the limelight.

“To see there are classes going on in schools now, loads more groups auditioning, shows like Got To Dance, it’s a really good thing for us. We love to see so many people stepping up. At the dance studio, mine and Ashley’s mum’s studio where we originally came from, there’s a small dance troupe there now. Just to see the kids coming up and being inspired is so humbling for us because it’s always been one of our goals.”

The June 29 show is, to quote Kiely, going to be mega with loads of flips and fun. He likes the idea of teaching McBusted some moves, maybe throwing them across the stage instead of him. If the band don’t turn up, the pair aren’t against getting on the mic too.

“He won’t admit it, but Perri’s not bad,” says Banjo. “Ashley’s not bad... so we’ve got a couple of singers. Terry (Smith) is really good on the drums and literally sings exactly like Paul Potts - he’d never admit it and he’s only ever done it in front of us.

“Everyone thinks we’re joking but he does the classical stuff. When he was younger his mum used to make him do a lot of horse-riding and stuff and his passion was always opera before he got into dancing. For a good few years he was a little fat kid, had a little ponytail all gelled back and did a lot of opera.”

Also joining McBusted will be the Backstreet Boys, 5ive and Scouting For Girls.

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