Union J were annoyed new member Casey signed up to do a reality show

Former X Factor and Stereo Kicks member Casey Johnson says his new bandmates had their reservations about him joining E4's Stage School, but he says they're excited for him now

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Recent Union J joiner Casey Johnson has revealed his new bandmates were annoyed he’s signed up for E4’s latest reality show, Stage School, but says he’s talked them round. 

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Casey – much like Union J – found fame on X Factor, taking part in 2014’s live shows after being chosen to be a member of eight-piece boy band Stereo Kicks. The band has since split and after George Shelley opted to leave Union J, Casey was soon added in. 

But he admits the rest of the band – Jaymi Hensley, JJ Hamblett and Josh Cuthbert – had their reservations about his part in the all-singing, all-dancing reality show, which – as it follows the lives of teachers and students at the prestigious D&B Academy of Performing Arts in Kent – promises to capture all the backstabbing and bitchiness of life among those trying to make it in ‘showbiz’.  

“They were nervous,” Casey told RadioTimes.com as he himself waited anxiously to see the first clips of the 30-part show at E4’s summer launch. But despite their annoyance, he admits “they’re excited for me.”

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Here the band joined Loose Women to introduce their new member

“It will be good promotion for the band and our new music,” he added, explaining that we’ll actually see his addition to the band play out in the show. 

Casey said that the format appealed to him because it enabled him to be himself on TV, rather than as part of Stereo Kicks as he was on X Factor. But he, along with his girlfriend Betsy-Blue English (herself a former X Factor contestant with then band Only the Young, who’ve also since split), did admit concerns about being edited. 

“It only takes one wrong sideways stare,” they said, with Betsy-Blue and fellow cast member Pia merrily joking that they’d hated each other at the start of the show but have since become friends. 

Union J’s reservations are perhaps understandable. Shelley’s successful stint on I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! last year seemed to be a big driver to try new things. But Casey is certainly excited about joining the band, talking excitedly about their new tracks. In fact, the reality series will see him try to get more acting work than singing, which he could certainly juggle with commitments to the band. 

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Stage School comes to E4 this September