Take That star Gary Barlow gave four Chester schoolgirls the surprise of their lives when he overheard them singing one of his hits at a motorway service station.

Teens Emily Rossiter, Karla Evans, Sophie Clarkson and Olivia Polding were travelling home from a theatre trip to London when the Frodsham -born singer songwriter heard them performing his tracks Patience and Greatest Day of Our Lives.

The girls, aged 15 and 16 who all attend The Queen’s School , burst into song while enjoying a rest break at a garage in Staffordshire; but they didn’t count on the star of TV’s hit show Shine joining in.

He opened the passenger door of his chauffeur driven Maybeck luxury limousine to thank the girls for their rendition, before agreeing to pose for photographs.

“We couldn’t believe it was him at first. He was absolutely lovely. He asked us where we were travelling to and said he used to live close to Chester. He told us to have a great half term break and was happy to have his picture taken with us,” said Emily.

Gary Barlow grew up in Frodsham and later lived at Delamere Manor in Cuddington .

His hit musical Calendar Girls, written with lifelong friend Alvanley’s Tim Firth, is currently running at The Phoenix Theatre in London.