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Classmates seek support for East Bowling One Direction star Zayn Malik
Buy this photo » Tong pupils hold a Zayn (also known as Zain) day to celebrate his success
Former classmates and teachers of Bradford singer Zayn Malik are urging the public to vote to keep his group in the X Factor.
The 17-year-old, from East Bowling, sings for survival on the ITV1 show tomorrow as one-fifth of boy band One Direction.
He is usually cheered on at the shows by his mum Tricia, dad Yaser and three sisters, but this week his hometown fans are out in force to wish him an extra helping of luck.
Steve Gates, assistant head teacher, said the school held a Zayn celebration yesterday. He said: “Zayn is a model student who excelled in all the performing arts subjects, one of the specialist subjects here at Tong.
“He was always a star performer in all the school productions so it was no surprise when Simon Cowell threw him his big chance.”
His former head teacher at Lower Fields, John Edwards, said: “Everyone in school is very excited and pleased with his progress so far. Even those of us who don’t normally watch the programme have a level of interest this year. I remember he was a nice young man, hard-working and I remember in particular his leading role in the Year 6 leavers’ play.”
Speaking exclusively to the Telegraph & Argus before last week’s show, Zayn was not counting his chickens: “We’ve seen throughout the competition that nobody is safe, so we need your votes, Bradford!”