WATCH: Britain’s Got Talent comes to Northumberland

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A flood of entries proved Northumberland has got what it takes as the county hosted its first Britain’s Got Talent auditions last night.

The ITV talent show, which is open to any age, background or ability, visited Bedlington-based Leading Link as part of the audition process for the national competition.

Jack Clements auditions for Britain's Got Talent. Picture by Matthew Fenwick.

Jack Clements auditions for Britain's Got Talent. Picture by Matthew Fenwick.

While there was a huge response to the event, organisers had to whittle down the numbers to just 15 who performed for the shows producers.

Leading Link, which aims to maximise the potential of young people through a diverse range of activities, has been organising its own Northumberland’s Got Talent since 2008.

It was that event that enticed producers to visit the county and give more people the opportunity to showcase their abilities. The event is running in tandem with the open audition tour which visited Newcastle last October.

Attached is a slideshow of pictures from some of those who auditioned at the event and there was certainly an array of talent on show for the visiting producers including a Northumbrian acoustic R’n’B band, a slick male dance troupe and an animal illusionist.

Giant Industrial Poets audition for Britain's Got Talent. Picture by Matthew Fenwick.

Giant Industrial Poets audition for Britain's Got Talent. Picture by Matthew Fenwick.

Young rapper Jack Clements, from Alnwick, put on his best performance of Professor Green’s Read All About it while Giant Industrial Poets, made up of George, Wim and Matt from Alnwick, put their own Northumbrian slant on some classic music anthems.

Wim Stevenson joked: “I’m just in it for the fame and glory.”

Despite the nerves of applying for such an established competition, dancer Jordan Alexander, 18, from Bedlington felt he benefited from auditioning practically on his doorstep.

He said: “I have auditioned before and not been successful, but I felt a lot more relaxed being in a familiar surrounding like my hometown.”

Giant Industrial Poets audition for Britain's Got Talent. Picture by Matthew Fenwick.

Giant Industrial Poets audition for Britain's Got Talent. Picture by Matthew Fenwick.

“There are definitely some hidden talents here that people do not know about, and this is an amazing chance to get out there and show what we can do in this area.”

Tom Wyllie, 21, from Cramlington, is a classical singer who already has a wealth of experience in performing at small gigs and private functions, but was delighted to have the opportunity to showcase himself, and the area, to a national audience.

He said: “Northumberland is a very popular place, but I feel like it is one of those far out places in the country that almost gets ignored sometimes, so it is nice that it has been recognised.”

All of the auditions were filmed, and the footage will now be reviewed by the show’s production team to decide if any of the acts will be invited to perform in front of Simon Cowell and the rest of the Britain’s Got Talent judges when filming for the television auditions start later this month.

Jonny Hall, assistant manager of Leading Link, was overwhelmed with the response to the auditions and thinks the future is bright for the talent of Northumberland.

He said: “We have been running Northumberland’s Got Talent for over seven years now, and we are still amazed by some of the people that are unearthed through auditions like this.

“We are also incredibly grateful that the producers of Britain’s Got Talent chose to come and visit Leading Link – it really has put Northumberland in the national spotlight.

“All of the acts that got up and performed in front of the cameras were absolutely brilliant – and they certainly did Northumberland proud!”

“Everyone at Leading Link will certainly be glued to their television screens when the show returns later in the year.”