Stars shine as local talent is celebrated

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What a show! The cream of showbiz talent raised the roof as The News honoured local stars in the Guide Awards.

Singers, dancers and actors were honoured as the awards were handed out at the Kings Theatre, Southsea.

And local restaurants, bars, DJs and art exhibitions were also among the deserving winners in the event, now in its third year.

This year the ceremony was even more special as it coincided with the 100th anniversary of the newly-restored Kings.

West End star Jack Edwards, backed by members of the Portsmouth Players, opened the show with a rousing medley of songs from the shows before the awards got under way.

A packed house cheered on the winners and runners-up as the prizes were handed out by the hosts, entertainer Shep Woolley and News columnist Lucy Warhurst.

And the extraordinary range of local talent was on display as performers took to the stage to celebrate the occasion.

Child star Bessie Cursons, who starred in ITV1's Britain's Got Talent, wowed the crowd with a performance of Wouldn't It Be Loverly? from My Fair Lady.

Teenager Jamie Riley – who won The News Instant Star talent search earlier this year – sang the Rat Pack classic Ain't That a Kick in the Head to rapturous applause.

And there were performances from Chris Ricketts, who won the prize for best folk and roots act, singer Jane Pegler and Sam McCarthy, lead singer of last year's best band winners Gilkicker.

This year the best band honours went to Fresh Legs, who closed the show and went on to perform a full set at the Drift Bar, Southsea.

Mark Waldron, editor of The News, said: 'This was a stunning evening of entertainment and one which shows the extraordinary depth of talent and expertise in our area.

'We are delighted to be able to honour not only the performers but also the hard work of staff restaurants, bars and local attractions.

'These awards are special because all the recipients know that they have the backing of the public and the critics.

'It was a fantastic evening's entertainment and one which makes us extremely proud.'