Belfast Telegraph

Monday 22 December 2014

Hollywood star Will's school visit

Will Smith enjoyed a whirlwind visit to South London
Will Smith enjoyed a whirlwind visit to South London

Hollywood star Will Smith surprised hundreds of screaming schoolgirls during a tour of "real London" with MPs.

The actor and singer was taken on a low-key whirlwind visit of South London by Labour MPs Chuka Umunna and Dame Tessa Jowell on Thursday, which included an impromptu gig at St Martin in the field girls' school in Tulse Hill.

Smith beamed during his unannounced stop-off which left the teenagers screaming in delight.

Mr Umunna, the shadow business secretary and MP for Streatham, tweeted: "Great to show off our awesome #Lambeth - Will wanted to see "real" London and it doesn't get more real than Lambeth!"

He added: "Pupils at St Martins, many of whom are my constituents, had no idea Will Smith was coming to school today. Incredible reception!"

The celebrity is in London while his young son, singer Jaden Smith, supports Justin Bieber on the latest part of his tour.

A video taken by Smith and uploaded onto his Facebook site shows him grinning in the assembly hall of the school surrounded by crowds of pupils and teachers jumping and shouting. Other videos uploaded by some of the schoolgirls on YouTube see him entertaining his dancing audience with one of his most well-known songs, the theme tune to the Prince of Bel Air.

But his first stop was at the National Museum of African-American History and Culture in Brixton, where he was given a guided tour by members of the Black Cultural Archives (BCA).

A spokesman for the BCA said: "Many discussions took place, including questions around identity and belonging, young people and life chances. Will Smith was very interested in these discussions especially as this chimes with his support of the President of the United States, Barack Obama and his work with the National Museum of African-American History and Culture."

Dame Tessa, MP for Dulwich and West Norwood, tweeted: "Early visit with @ChukaUmunna Brixton Market+Brixton Village then to devpt of Black Cultural Archives with Dawn Hill & Will Smith!!"

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