Want a chance of stardom? Enter our Instant Star contest!

The Instant Star winner from two years ago Jerry Williams performs at the Children in Need gala show in 2013
The Instant Star winner from two years ago Jerry Williams performs at the Children in Need gala show in 2013
  • Instant Star competition auditions will be held at The Wedgewood Rooms
  • The winner will perform at The Children in Need gala in November
  • They will also turn on the city Christmas lights
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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 2015 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 on November 15, and at the switching-on of the Portsmouth city centre Christmas lights on November 19.

The winner will also star at The Guide Awards, run by The News.

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’ entertainment editor Chris Broom, plus Geoff Priestley from The Wedgewood Rooms and Steve Pitt, who is producing the Children in Need show – will pick a winner or winners.

Last year’s winner, Lucy Simmonds, nine, blew everyone away with her vocal talent when she sang Let It Go from Frozen.

And since winning two years ago, singer-songwriter Jerry Williams has been making some serious waves in the music industry – her new video Cold Beer recently featured on Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch.

Nineteen-year-old Jerry, from Milton, Portsmouth, who is fresh from a trio of triumphant performances at Victorious Festival, said: ‘Winning Instant Star was a real confidence boost for me.

‘I was only just starting out at the time, and I thought it would just be a good experience. To win was amazing.

‘And then to perform at The Kings was incredible. It was so exciting.’

Auditions are at The Wedgewood Rooms on Wednesday, October 7. Please arrive from 6.30pm for soundchecks, with auditions from 7pm. All entrants must register in advance.



To register for Instant Star, e-mail features@thenews.co.uk with your name, address, age and contact numbers plus a brief description of your act. Put INSTANT STAR in the subject field.

After the deadline has passed we’ll then give you an entry number so you can perform on the audition night – Wednesday, October 7. 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, portsmouth.co.uk.

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. Winners must be available on November 15 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.

If acts have a backing track to perform to, they may bring it on a CD or smartphone with its connection lead.

Closing date for entries is midnight on Tuesday, September 29.