The teachers taking on Band Aid this Christmas

Disco duo release festive single to raise money for Africa

Richard Vaughan

They sneaked into the charts last summer with their World Cup song; now a teacher duo are at it again with a tune they hope will be a challenger for chart supremacy this Christmas.

Robin Parmiter and Ian Wilson, aka Disco Mister, teach at Huntington School in York and reached number 100 for a week in July with their England World Cup single Bring It Home.

The tune may not have troubled the top of the charts but it did win the backing of celebrities such as sports presenter Clare Balding and comedian Jack Whitehall.

It even became Amazon's most downloaded song written for the 2014 tournament, beating the likes of Gary Barlow and Gary Lineker's attempt, which the Football Association later dropped.

Buoyed by their success, the pair have decided to take on the usual contenders for the Christmas top spot, challenging X Factor winner Ben Haenow's single and the latest release of Band Aid's Do They Know It's Christmas? with their own effort, Everybody Dance (Happy Christmas).

Mr Parmiter, who teaches philosophy, told TESS they had chosen to record the song to raise money for a charity project in Africa. And this time, he said, its success would not depend on the performance of a sports team.

"We know that Christmas will definitely happen and doesn't rely on the ability of 11 men on a football field. We love Christmas as a time of year and we thought it would be a great opportunity to raise money," he said.

The video for the duo's World Cup song attracted more than 100,000 views on YouTube. Their latest no-budget effort features Mr Parmiter and Mr Wilson roaming the countryside dressed as a shepherd and a king, respectively. It also references the film Pulp Fiction: the teachers are shown opening a box, the contents of which remain a secret.

"We wanted to capture some of the mystery of Christmas and we also thought it would be a good way to drum up interest and get the community engaged, so there is a #WhatsInTheBox? hashtag," Mr Parmiter said.

All proceeds from the single will go towards building a school in Kenya, a project that is being led by York business WebCertain. The two-year scheme, overseen by the charity Build Africa, will erect a new building for the Mbombo Primary School in the East African country's rural Gilgil region.

Abi Betts, a philanthropy executive at the Kent-based charity, said the money raised by the single would help to renovate two classrooms and build a new nursery.

"The funds will also help to support the livelihoods of the parents by developing small savings and loans in the community. By supporting the parents, it means they will be more likely to send their children to school," Ms Betts said.

"We have hundreds of schools such as this across East Africa and it's very important to us that we have people raising money like this."

For details on how to buy the single and to see the video, log on to bit.lyDiscoMister

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Richard Vaughan

Richard has been writing about politics, policy and technology in education for nearly five years after joining TES in 2008. He joined TES from the building press having been a reporter and then later news editor at the Architects’ Journal. Before then he studied at Cardiff University’s school of journalism. Richard can be found tweeting at @richardvaughan1

Find me on Twitter @RichardVaughan1

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