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Father of missing Claudia Lawrence hopes missing people's choir can win Britain's Got Talent

The father of the missing chef Claudia Lawrence from York has urged viewers to carry the Missing People Choir to Britain's Got Talent victory in the hope the £250,000 prize will help reunite their families.

Peter Lawrence is among an ensemble of missing people's relatives who moved the judges and audience to tears during their first appearance on the programme.

The judges heard a rendition of I Miss You, a song penned by Peter Bozell, whose son Lee went missing nearly 30 years ago. The piece also includes lyrics written by schoolgirl Alice Goss, who was murdered in 2014 aged 14.

Claudia Lawrence was last seen on March 18 2009 and was reported missing the following day after she failed to turn up for a shift at work at the University of York.

Claudia Lawrence Credit: Family photograph

Detectives believe the 35-year-old was murdered and in January North Yorkshire Police announced the investigation into her disappearance has been scaled down, a decision her father Peter hopes may be reconsidered following the choir's performance. He hopes it helps to promote the group's ongoing search for their loved ones across and says if they win, the money will be donated to charity to help in search for those who are missing:

Peter Lawrence (centre) on stage at the Britain's Got Talent audition Credit: Britain's Got Talent - Syco/Thames

"Everything will go to the charity, which indirectly helps us all. We are hoping that one day somebody will come forward. We have all said that if this song gives information to one case, it will all be worthwhile."

– Peter Lawrence, speaking to The Sun

Supported by Kate McCann, mother of Madeleine McCann, the choir includes Rachel Elias, the sister of missing Manic Street Preachers guitarist Richey Edwards among its members.

Another of the group's singers is Denise Horvath Allan whose son Charles Horvath Allan went missing while backpacking in Canada in 1989 when she lived in Halifax, West Yorkshire.

Charles Horvath Allan Credit: Family photograph

Viewers watching last night's programme on ITV took to Twitter to express their feelings after watching the emotional performance with many admitting to being in tears. One person tweeted: "Blimey - so emotional #MissingPeopleChoir #BGT an inspired audition. So many missing people; heartbreaking; hope connections can be made." Another added: "Not often I bawl my eyes out watching Saturday night telly but #MissingPeopleChoir just took my breath away. Powerful start to #BGT."

Anybody who recognises someone who is missing from the choir's performance is being asked to call the Missing People's free 24-hour helpline on 116 000 or to visit the Missing People website for more information.