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America's Got Talent Magician Tom London performs at Highworth Grammar School, Ashford

By Molly Mileham-Chappell

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Students and staff alike were left spellbound when a TV star performed magic as an end-of-term treat at a grammar school in Ashford.

Magician Tom London visited Highworth Grammar School in Quantock Drive on Friday as part of a magical surprise.

The ex-sixth former at the school recently gained international recognition for his performances on America’s Got Talent in front of judges including Simon Cowell and Spice Girl Mel B.

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Thomas Webb used to be a pupil at Highworth. Picture Andy Jones

Thomas Webb used to be a pupil at Highworth. Picture: Andy Jones

Following his performance, the 25-year-old originally from Ashford said: “It was the best show I’ve ever done in my life. It was more rewarding than America’s Got Talent!”

Only KentOnline reporter Molly Mileham-Chappell and a handful of staff at the school were in on the surprise, which saw the young magician use technology to stun the audience of more than 1000 teachers and pupils on the school hall stage.

Tom London, whose real name is Thomas Webb, left the school’s sixth form in 2012 where he was well-known in his role as a house captain.

The 25-year-old recently starred on America's Got Talent. Picture Andy Jones

The 25-year-old recently starred on America's Got Talent. Picture: Andy Jones

Ahead of performing his trick, he gave an inspirational speech to students to about ‘chasing dreams and never giving up’.

For his trick, Thomas randomly selected pupil Rosie Williams from the crowd, and correctly predicted a topic and word she had chosen on her phone, causing the school hall erupt with applause.

Thomas said: “I came back to Highworth today to share my story.

“Five years ago, these kids were me and to give them an inspiring talk about chasing your dreams was just such an honour.

“It was really cool. I’d love to do it again."

Ex-student Thomas Webb prepared a speech for the school. Picture Andy Jones

Ex-student Thomas Webb prepared a speech for the school. Picture: Andy Jones

Thomas is one of the youngest members of The Magic Circle, an elite international society for magicians of the highest calibre.

Talking about America’s Got Talent, he said: “About a year ago, we came up with this idea for this magic act which would be heavily based on technology and use technology to create magic.

Thomas told pupils to chase their dreams in an inspiring speech. Picture Andy Jones

Thomas told pupils to chase their dreams in an inspiring speech. Picture: Andy Jones

“I flew out there. I was out there for about the week doing the first audition. I was super jet lagged!

“I got through, then I didn’t hear anything for a month, then I got told that I would be doing the next round and I’d be flying out for another week for round two for ‘Judge Cuts’.

“I spent a whole month building this magnificent trick where I flew around the world and made this massive prediciton.

Students enjoying the show. Picture Andy Jones

Students enjoying the show. Picture: Andy Jones

“Unfortunately I didn’t make it through, but I had such an incredible time.

“Hundreds of thousands of people audition for that show and to be one of the 26 that got through - I couldn’t believe it. It’s such an honour. It was a really incredible experience.

“This is definitely a set back. Everyone wants to achieve their dreams but sometimes you have to fail.

Tom London performs at the end of year assembly with pupil Rosie Williams at Highworth Grammar School. Picture Andy Jones

Tom London performs at the end of year assembly with pupil Rosie Williams at Highworth Grammar School. Picture: Andy Jones

“There’s things I could have done differently but I’ve got to learn from them and they’re expensive lessons, that’s the hardest part. But you won’t make the same mistake twice!

“I’m definitely looking at trying to do some more magic in the States, but also I really want to start doing more magic in the UK so I’m sure you’ll see much more of me in months to come.”

Tom London reveals the answer. Picture Andy Jones

Tom London reveals the answer. Picture: Andy Jones

For more about Tom London, search @TomLondonMagic on Facebook or Twitter.

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