COMEDIANS, singers, acrobats and jugglers were all hopeful of bagging a coveted spot on ITV show Britain’s Got Talent as auditions came to Portsmouth.
Talent scouts were on the hunt for the best – and wackiest – acts around ahead of the return of the programme later this year.
Open mic nights were held at the Jolly Sailor pub in Southsea on Wednesday and at Little Johnny Russell’s in Albert Road last night, however the main auditions took place at the Cascades Shopping Centre yesterday.
Scores of people queued up to perform, including friends Frankie Scopes-Upton and Keiley Timberlake, who auditioned as a dance duo.
The two 10-year-olds have been dancing for five years and been partners for four, at the Scarlett Rose School of Dance in North End.
The girls performed a dance duet in a variety of styles to three different songs including Sam Smith’s Writing’s on the Wall.
Nobody thinks that a bald-headed toothless guy can sing a cappella so they’re shocked when they hear meSteve Went, 55, from Southsea
Frankie is from Bedhampton and attends Bidbury Junior School, Keiley is from North End and goes to Northen Parade Junior School.
Frankie said: ‘We wanted to do it mostly just to see other people go on there and dance.’
Keiley added: ‘We just really wanted to do it.’
The girls, who are fans of the show, said that they felt ‘confident but at the same time really nervous.’
Accompanying them was dance teacher Beverley Craig. She said she was ‘chuffed to bits’ for the girls.
Another charismatic act hoping to find fame was Steve Went, from Southsea.
Steve, 55, works as a driver for Aqua Cars and had been on an airport run before coming to the auditions. He is known in Portsmouth for his singing act, under the stage name Mitchell.
Steve sang Adventure Of A Lifetime by Coldplay.
‘Nobody thinks that a bald-headed toothless guy can sing a cappella so they’re shocked when they hear me,’ he said.
‘I’m like a Z list celebrity in Portsmouth. I’ve got a following of about five people.’
He was being supported by his fiancée Michelle Mills, 45. They met five years ago when Steve was singing at the Devonshire Arms pub in Southsea. She said: ‘I usually go to all his gigs, if I’m not at work. He did really well today. It’s nice to see him perform a song that he loves.’
Nine-year-old Poppy Bullen, from Chichester, was with her mum Lucy and 11-year-old brother Harrison.
Poppy sang Opportunity from the musical Annie.
She said: ‘I felt a bit nervous because there’s lots of singers and the girl before me was really good.’
Organiser and talent scout Hannah Miller said she was impressed with the acts – and encouraged people to come along to auditions being held on the Isle of Wight today, Winchester on Monday and in Bognor Regis on August 6.
n Additional reporting by James Watts and Daisy Ainsworth
IAN Leggett was hoping that his street dance act would impress the judges.
Ian, 36, from Waterlooville, was accompanied by his wife Terri, 30, and his friend Brian Barnes, 40. Ian dedicated his performance to the memory of his dad Cliff who died aged 78 in a car accident at Gatwick in June.
‘I’m doing it for him,’ said Ian, whose act was called Mad Chad.
‘Britain’s Got Talent seems like a really good show. I’ve been watching it since it began.’
His wife Terri was cheering him on from the sidelines.
She said: ‘At the open mic night everyone was clapping and cheering him on. I’m really proud of him.’
ONE act to take to the stage was talented aspiring singer Tallulah Bebbington.
The 13-year-old, from Buckland, was accompanied by her grandmother, Maggie Bebbington, and cousins Sean, eight, Aiden, six, and Finn, three.
Tallulah, who goes to Admiral Lord Nelson School, performed Who’s Lovin’ You by The Jackson 5.
Tallulah said she enjoys singing. She has her own YouTube channel and she performed last year at the Instant Star competition at the Wedgewood Rooms in Southsea.
Maggie, 58, said she was impressed with Tallulah’s talents. ‘I’m very proud of her. She always surprises me with how good she gets,’ she said.