Larbert teacher is an unexpected star of hit BBC1 show

Daniel and Ailsa get the surprise of their lives courtesy of Michael McIntyre and BBC1
Daniel and Ailsa get the surprise of their lives courtesy of Michael McIntyre and BBC1

School pupils in the Larbert area were stunned to see their music teacher singing on a prime time BBC1 show - but not as surprised as he was.

Daniel Walsh and his wife Ailsa, who is also a teacher, found themselves in the spotlight when they became the “Unexpected Stars” of Michael McIntyre’s Big Show on Saturday.

Music teacher Daniel and English teacher Ailsa on stage at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane

Music teacher Daniel and English teacher Ailsa on stage at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane

The show saw Daniel and Ailsa take a ride on a ghost train - not realising it was part of an elaborate set-up to get them on to the world famous stage of London’s Theatre Royal Drury Lane, in front of anaudience of 2000 people, with another 7 million people watching on television.

Music teacher Daniel (29) is a familiar face in several schools locally, including Larbert High, Larbert Village Primary, Ladeside Primary and Airth Primary, and is also musical director and vocal coach at Stirling’s Monument Dance Centre.

His wife Ailsa (28) teaches English at Balfron High School and also teaches dance at MDC.

The couple, who live in Bannockburn, had Ailsa’s mum, Louise, to thank for the experience.

She said: “After Ailsa’s wedding last year I got an email through about “being on a TV show” and the Michael McIntyre “unexpected star” nominations caught my eye.

“I immediately thought of Ailsa who has been a tower of strength to me and my husband Craig ever since I was diagnosed with breast cancer.”

The BBC loved their story but months of planning was involved to get them in the right place at the right time, with Louise and Craig telling “a pack of lies” to get them there.

“It was really stressful!” said Louise.

“Ailsa and Daniel had no idea what was going on as Saturday’s TV audience could see by the amazed look on their faces when they eventually hit the stage...and came face to face with Michael McIntyre!”

“Once they had been backstage through two hours of costume and make-up, they sang together beautifully.”

Daniel said: “I can’t believe this happened to us and the scale of the operation that was all for Ailsa and me. Then to sing to a standing ovation on the stage of the iconic Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, was just incredible.”

Ailsa said: “It was a crazy and amazing experience. It was such fun when we got over the shock and I’ll never believe a word my parents say ever again!”