When Chloe New went to London to watch her favourite singer in concert... little did she know she was in for the surprise of her life!
Eleven-year-old Chloe and her best pal Ellie Stirzaker, 12, couldn’t wait to see pop sensation Selena Gomez live on stage.
Little did they know however that Selena herself was about to sneak up on the pair as part of a fabulous weekend treat courtesy of ITV’s Surprise Surprise.
Their mums Angela and Sue were in on it all of course – but nothing could have prepared the girls for coming face-to-face with their favourite pop star. They had the shock of their lives!
Ellie had contacted the show when all the fund-raising for Chloe’s SDR operation began 12 months ago.
Out of 20,000 applications to be a part of the show, Ellie’s touching letter about her best friend’s courage and determination to walk wowed the show’s producers.
Surprise Surprise was screened on Sunday night and Angela admits she was really nervous about watching it all.
“I was hiding behind a cushion watching it, I couldn’t remember what I had said, it was all such a whirlwind!”
The filming took place in September and after meeting Disney TV channel star Selena, the girls watched her concert and were able to go backstage too.
The following day they were taken to ITV’s studios for the filming of the show.
“We were shown the set and then went to hair and make-up which the girls really enjoyed,” said Angela.
“Then within minutes I was asked to go through to the studio. I walked through the door and there were cameras, lights a 500-strong audience and Holly Willoughby!
“I explained about Chloe’s story and then we filmed the part where Chloe and Ellie came through with Selena Gomez. It was the best experience ever.”
Appearing on the show was the culmination of a year of change for Chloe, who has cerebral palsy.
The youngster, of Agnew Road, underwent complex surgery in America earlier this year to relieve stiffness in her muscles to allow her to walk unaided. Her devoted family raised £60,000 to take her to America for the operation.
Sue Stirzaker, Ellie’s mum added: “I’m so proud of Ellie, the whole experience was fantastic. It was months ago when we applied. We went to the library to download all the application forms and then a researcher got in touch.
“I had to send her all the cuttings from the Weekly News to explain about Chloe’s story and then we got a phone call to say they were going to be on the show. Ellie knew we were going to London, but Chloe didn’t. Neither of them knew about meeting Selena though, it was brilliant.”
Chloe was given a beautiful silver necklace from Tiffany’s with a bow pendant as a gift from Selena.
Angela added: “She will treasure it.”