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Talent search on Tyneside; Hopefuls queue in snow for audition.

Byline: Katie Davies

BRITAIN'S Got Talent judges put a smile on fans' faces when they arrived for the first auditions in the new series.

Thousands of fans hit the streets to welcome Simon Cowell, Piers Morgan and Amanda Holden to The Journal Tyne Theatre, Newcastle, for the auditions, due to be screened on ITV1.

Some fans had been waiting more than seven hours to ensure they did not miss their idols.

Carrying blankets, sleeping bags and thermals, fans were not left disappointed when the Simon Cowell, Piers Morgan and Amanda Holden entered the theatre, one by one.

On his entrance into the auditions, Simon Cowell, said: "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."

The acerbic judge walked casually into the theatre, chatting to a number of fans on his way. He even grabbed a fan's phone to speak to her mum.

Piers stepped out of his silver Chrysler, signing autographs and getting his photo taken with fans.

The former News of the World and Daily Mirror editor said: "This is the first time I have been to Newcastle and I think it's fantastic. We've got snow on the ground, the sun is shining and the people are great. What more could we ask for? "Ant and Dec are from up here but I'm hoping the people auditioning today are better than those two. "If we don't spot any talent then I will certainly be having a go at the pair of them."

One contestant that was hoping to impress the judges was Gary Manson or Miss Gina Strings as he likes to be called.

Dressed in a velvet black dress and wearing a purple wig, the 24-year-old said: "I'm hoping to impress all the judges today, especially Simon.

"My act will be full of singing, dancing and me looking absolutely fabulous."

Fans queued for miles to watch the auditions and many were left disappointed when they were refused entry.

One fan who had definitely secured her seat in the in theatre was Lauren Spicer, who had been there since 7am.

The 20-year-old said: "I love Simon Cowell. I've been up since six o'clock this morning. I can't to see him. He's great."


HAS NEWCASTLE GOT TALENT? Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden and Piers Morgan found out at The Journal Tyne Theatre at the weekend
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Feb 1, 2010
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