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TAlent - ferr zone; North East is snubbed by Simon Cowell's TV show.

Byline: LISA HUTCHINSON

BRITAIN may very well have talent - but according to the TV show, we haven't!

North East wannabes have been snubbed by Britain's Got Talent after Newcastle missed out on this year's audition list.

Last January thousands of fans welcomed Simon Cowell, Piers Morgan and Amanda Holden to The Journal Tyne Theatre in the city for the auditions, which were later screened on ITV1.

And North East favourites Ant and Dec were delighted to be back on home soil to present the show.

But this year Newcastle has not been included on the list of audition venues and has been replaced by Liverpool.

Now talented Tynesiders will have to travel to Glasgow, London, Birmingham, Cardiff, Manchester and for the first time Liverpool.

The judging line up has changed after Piers and Simon's exits from the panel. And this season will see Amanda Holden, comedian Michael McIntyre and former Baywatch star David Hasselhoff pressing the buzzers.

Auditions kicked off yesterday in London, with others taking place around the country during this month. Simon will return to the show at the live stages of the competition.

Last year the Newcastle auditions found teenage boy band the Backstreet Boys, made up of 13-year-old twins Conor and Miles, 12-year-old Matt, 13-year-old Harry and Max, 15, Tyneside's all-girl dance troupe Aka, and 17-yearold singer Georgia Overton, of Acklington in Northumberland. It was Britain's Got Talent that discovered singing sensation Susan Boyle who has become a hit around the globe. She appeared on the show in 2009, singing I Dreamed a Dream from Les Misrables. Her first album was released in November of that year and debuted as the number one best-selling CD on charts around the world.

But North East fans will feel let down after many waited more than seven hours to ensure they didn't miss their idols when they came to Newcastle in January last year.

At the time Simon told the Chronicle: "It's great to be in Newcastle. I'm looking for some great talent and if not Ant and Dec's heads will be on the line. But if I happen to spot something good I will take all the credit.

"This year I'm looking for something different, I will take anything. Maybe even a dog act."

He even grabbed a fan's phone to speak to her mum.

And Dec said: "We had a competition both on and off camera with Simon about Newcastle. He said the city would have no talent.

"It started badly, but in the end we won. There were some fantastic acts there so we had the moral victory."

This is the fifth series of the ITV show to search for a winning act to perform at the Royal Variety Performance and scoop pounds 100,000.

A spokesman for Britain's Got talent said: "The live auditions for Britain's Got Talent 2011 have been officially confirmed, with Liverpool this year being added to the list of cities in the search for new and fresh talent."

CAPTION(S):

SUCCESS Susan Boyle is one of the stars from the show WARM WELCOME Simon Cowell meets the fans outside the Journal Tyne Theater ahead of last year's auditions in Newcastle
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jan 5, 2011
Words:529
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