Help us find our Instant Star

The'News Instant Star 2013 winner Jerry Williams performs some of her songs
The'News Instant Star 2013 winner Jerry Williams performs some of her songs
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DO YOU watch TV talent shows such as The X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent and reckon you could do better than some of the acts?

If you think you’ve got what it takes to make it, then Instant Star is for you. Today we’re launching our annual search for a star – and it could be YOUR big break.

Instant Star 2014 is a talent contest to find an act or acts to appear in front of an audience of hundreds at the Children in Need Charity Show at the Kings Theatre in Southsea next month, and at the switching-on of the Portsmouth city centre Christmas lights on November 20.

Last year’s winner was Jerry Williams, who wowed judges at the auditions with her singing and songwriting talent. As well as appearing in the gala show at the Kings, she also went on to star at Guide Awards run by The News.

This year we’re looking for another performer (or maybe more than one) to take to the stage on November 9 as part of a fabulous night of entertainment for Children in Need.

Next month we’re going to hold open auditions in Southsea to find an unknown act or acts to perform as part of the big show. Whatever you do – singing, dancing, acting, juggling, conjuring or comedy – we’ll consider you.

Our judges – The News’ entertainments editor Chris Broom, plus Sandra Smith from the Kings and Steve Pitt, who is producing the Children in Need show – will pick a winner or winners.

Eighteen-year-old Jerry, from Milton, Portsmouth, says: ‘It was a local competition so I thought I’d go along and give it a try – I was interested in playing at The Guide Awards and things like that.

‘Winning definitely gave me a boost. It was nice to know that I could get to play all these big events in Portsmouth, and it gave me a bit of confidence as well.’

Jerry has recently released an EP, A Hairdresser Called Sid’s and has been busy playing gigs all over the region since her win, including at the Wickham Festival, and several times at Victorious Festival.

‘Victorious was such a good weekend,’ she added. ‘And it was such a buzz, it made me really proud to be from Portsmouth.’

Auditions are at The Cellars at Eastney on Wednesday, October 8. Please arrive from 6pm for soundchecks, with auditions from 7pm. All entrants must register in advance.


To register for Instant Star, e-mail with your name, address, age and contact numbers plus a brief description of your act. Put INSTANT STAR in the subject field. We’ll then give you an entry number so you can perform on the audition night - Wednesday, October 8. If you have a video, upload it to YouTube and include the URL link in your e-mailed entry. We may then put it on our website,

At the audition children will be seen first. We’ll ask you to do two minutes, then judges will confer and pick a winner/winners. Please make sure you’re available on November 9 and in the days beforehand, as you may be called for rehearsals.

Entrants can be of any age and we’ll consider any kind of variety act, but it has to be suitable for a family audience.

Musicians should perform acoustic sets only and we’re restricting bands to a maximum of four people.

Dancers may bring a CD backing track to perform to. Closing date for entries is midnight on Thursday, October 2.