X FACTOR auditions will be coming to Southend next month.

Both the Old Hat, in Alexandra Street, and the Royals Shopping Centre will be playing host to events as X Factor scouts look for the next big talent in the UK.

The two days of talent scouting begin with an open mic night at the Old Hat bar between 8pm and 11pm, on Thursday, March 17, which is also St Patrick’s Day, at which those aged 16 and over can demonstrate their sining abilities.

Old Hat owner Vanda Peters said: “I think we probably have the biggest open mic night in the area, with more people coming here than anywhere else.

“They got in touch with us and are looking to see about 30 acts.

“It’s very good for us, but we’ve had live music here for five years so we’re quite well established.”

The open mic night will be followed by auditions at The Royals, in Southend town centre, between 10am and 5.30pm, on Friday, March 18.

Only those aged 16 or over may audition and under-18s must be accompanied by a parent or guardian and have valid identification.