Billericay School's young stars shine

Echo: Georgina Strand performs her  song        Georgina Strand performs her song

GIFTED pupils let their vocal, dance and musical skills shine out to the maximum when they staged a star-studded showcase in the style of Britain's Got Talent.

Young stars in the making delivered knockout performances as they produced their own acts and took to the school stage to battle it out in Billericay's Got Talent 2008.

Casting their perfectly made-up eyes over the acts were glamorous girl band and last year's X Factor finalist, Hope, who were joined on the judging panel by former Billericay School pupil Lauren McAvoy - winner of Britain's Next Top Model 2007.

Also judging the 20 acts at Billericay School were headteacher Susan Hammond and musical producer Daniel Sherman.

Compering the night was the school's own celebrity comedian Charlie Wernham, 13, who made the nation, not to mention Simon Cowell, laugh when he made it through to the semi-finals of ITV's Britain's Got Talent last month.

Charlie, of Stansted Close, Billericay, took a break from delivering his cheeky one-liners to introduce the line-up alongside fellow pupil Becky Hatch.

The event was part of the school's series of events to mark National Shine Week - a UK-wide celebration of young people and their talents.

Acts included musician Alice Johnston performing Tournier's Prelude III on the harp, Thomas Like and James Hayter as the Jackson 2 dancers and Georgia Strand singing her own song, Wave Back.

The winners were Daniel Suett, Josh Dubovie and Tim Reeve who danced and sang to Daniel's own song, What You Need. Runner-up was singer Tomi Shoderu, with Drew-Levi Huntsman third.

The audience award went to girl group Camouflage - Leah Palmer and Danielle Knight - who sang Never Say Die.

The top three acts received cash prizes of £100, £75 and £50.

Assistant headteacher Charlotte Berry said: "It was a fantastic night and I think everyone was impressed by the sheer standard of the talent on show and of the variety of acts.

"It was lovely to have our own Charlie Wernham up there compering.

"He's achieved so much with Britain's Got Talent and we were all behind him 100 per cent.

"Also to welcome Lauren back to the school was marvellous. Her modelling career has really taken off, but she found time to come here to do this for us."

Lauren, 21, of Park Lodge, Wickford, added: "I jumped at the chance to come back to school for the night and judge the acts.

"I have wonderful memories of being at Billericay School and it was nice to see a lot of my old teachers."

Charlie, of Stansted Close, Billericay, added: "It was great to be on the other side of the stage for change. I wasn't performing, but I did try to get a few jokes in!"

Head of Music Ed Allen, who put the show together, said the night lived up to everything Shine Week stands for: "Everyone has put in so much work, but it's been worth every minute," he praised.

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