George Ikediashi, who lives in Brighton town centre, was one of hundreds of people from across the UK who, alerted by text message, descended on Terminal 5 on Wednesday to take part in the first flash mob ever to take place at an airport, organised and filmed by the mobile phone network T-Mobile for a new advert.
George joined a huge crowd – a mixture of waiting public, taxi drivers, cabin crew, baggage handlers and T-Mobile staff and customers – to unexpectedly serenade passengers coming through arrivals. The crowd, singing welcome home tracks including , ‘Comin’ Home Baby’ by Mel Torme and I Knew You Were Waiting (for me)’ by George Michael & Aretha Franklin, was supported by a human orchestra of 20 singers who used their voices to mimic instruments including beatboxes, violins, cello and drums.
The ex law student and classically trained opera singer caught the attention of the producers, whilst serenading a stranger with a rendition of ‘I am the Passenger’ by Iggy Pop. His performance, which was captured on hidden cameras in the terminal, has been selected from hours of footage to appear in the final TV edit. It means George will be appearing in more than 3 million homes and on over 6 million TV screens across the UK .
George, who moved to Brighton 10 years ago after growing up in Nigeria, says: “I’m an opera singer, so when I got a text from T-Mobile about the flash mob being organised I thought it would be fun to take part. To be honest I didn’t think they’d pull it off at an airport but it went ahead and there were literally hundreds of people all singing and dancing. At one point the whole of the arrivals hall had joined in so I couldn’t I couldn’t believe it when someone called to say I’d been picked from all those people to be on TV.”
Spencer McHugh, Director of Brand at T-Mobile commented: “We wanted to create and capture a moment that was totally unique and upbeat so we thought that, just for one day, we should give weary travellers a welcome they would never forget. George totally epitomised what we were trying to achieve and there’s no doubt that the people who walked through Terminal 5 when he was singing will never forget their arrival. Now the rest of the UK will be able to enjoy it when it airs on TV tonight.”