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Show Islington that you've got talent!

PUBLISHED: 11:21 06 September 2010 | UPDATED: 11:10 14 October 2010

THE biggest talent competition in Islington is back for a second year running – giving the borough's unsung stars a chance to shine in the spotlight. Over 200 singers, dancers and entertainers of all ages entered the first ever Islington's Got Talent last

THE biggest talent competition in Islington is back for a second year running - giving the borough's unsung stars a chance to shine in the spotlight.

Over 200 singers, dancers and entertainers of all ages entered the first ever Islington's Got Talent last year, with 1,000 people packing out the House On The Rock church, in Tufnell Park Road, Tufnell Park, for the live grand final.

Now the competition is back for a second year with a panel of top showbiz judges, fantastic prizes and a team of industry professionals on hand to help uncover the next Alexandra Burke.

Islington's Got Talent (IGT) co-founder Katherine McInerney, 55, is chairwoman of the Hollins, McCall and Daren TRA, on the Tufnell Park Estate.

She said: "We did a talent show for our estate fun day and the kids were asking us 'are you going to do it next year?' The talent we saw was unbelievable so we decided to do it bigger so we could include all the kids from all across the borough.

"We had opera singers, dancers, magicians. We didn't know there was so much talent out there. These kids have got nowhere to go - they're at home writing their own music and this gives them an opportunity to get it out there."

But it's not just youngsters who can enter IGT.

Last year saw amateur performers aged five to 78 reap the benefits of professional coaching sessions with choreographers and singers who have worked with the likes of Cheryl Cole.

Islington resident Roland Gift, singer with 1980s chart stars Fine Young Cannibals, was so impressed with IGT 2009 he has offered his services as a judge for a second year running.

Mrs McInerney said: "Roland Gift lives in our community and he's been very supportive of it. We've got people like him who are actually in the business so it's a chance for people to go to the next level and open their eyes to what they can do to follow this career."

Auditions for IGT 2010 are being held at The Union Chapel, in Compton Terrace, Islington, from midday this Saturday, with the live final returning to the House OnThe Rock on November 20.

"This venue had just opened last year," said Mrs McInerney, who won a Mayor's Civic Award for her efforts organising IGT last year. "No one had been in before. It had just opened. It gives it that 'wow' factor and the contestants were brilliant. They are treated like celebrities with make-up artists, hair dressers. To get up on stage, I couldn't do it."

She added: "Homes for Islington have been really good and given us funding but it would be great to get more of the community involved. If there are any local businesses out there who can help us with sponsorship get in touch. IGT is volunteer-run by ordinary people like me and everything we do is Islington based."

Last year 16-year-old Highbury Corner singer Grace Fleary triumphed in the 5 -17 age category, while 20-year-old Marius Malone and Kyle Harrison - aka music duo MtM (Muzik to Make) - walked off with the adults' trophy.

Now the "expressive rap and R&B" act are set to release their debut single I Wanna Be on Highbury-based label Statuette Media Ltd.

Marius, from the Bemerton Estate, off Caledonian Road, Islington, said: "It was a great experience and really helped to get us known and build up our confidence. We didn't think it would go anywhere when we entered - now we're signed to an independent label and doing showcases.

"If you want to do music or you've got a skill you want to show off you've got to give it a chance. Just give it a go."

Auditions for Islington's Got Talent 2010 take place from 12noon this Saturday at The Union Chapel, in Compton Terrace, off Upper Street, Islington. For information on how to enter go to www.islingtonsgottalent.co.uk. Late entrants can turn up and will be able to fill out an application form on the day to audition at a later date.


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