A THEATRE in Northwich was packed with singers vying to win the chance to be named the best in Northwich and win a £1,000 prize.

More than 30 acts performed for the judges at the open audition of Northwich X Factor, which was held at the Harlequin Theatre on Sunday.

A total of 10 were picked to go through to the live final on January 31, with an extra two acts selected as the judges' wild card choices.

Joanne Storey, one of the organisers, said: "It's been amazing, I'm made up, and the Harlequin Theatre was the perfect venue.

"As far as I'm concerned I couldn't be more pleased with how it's gone and the level of talent is rising."

The auditions were ably compared by David Cantona Lee and the panel of judges included Sue Chatt, from Stagecoach Theatre Arts, Kevin Barnett, chairman of the Harlequin Theatre, Stephanie Cheadle, Northwich businesswoman, Wayne Storey, event organiser, and Gina Bebbington, Guardian chief reporter.

Gaynor Sinar, who organised the event with Joanne and Wayne Storey, said: "We have got a lot of young talent coming through in Northwich and I wouldn't be surprised if someone from Northwich won the national X Factor at some point.

"After those auditions I will have a smile on my face until the final now."

The finalists are Meg Perry, from Rudheath, Laura Merriman, from Moulton, Paul Capper, from Leftwich, Chris Tavener, from Weaverham, Zara Ohoro, from Northwich, Olivia Riley, from Davenham, Victoria Carney, from Kingsmead, Alana Hanley, from Lostock, Brooke Morrison, from Kingsmead, and Rebecca Holland, from Northwich.

The two wild card acts include David Mackenzie, from Northwich, and Robyn Thomas, from Northwich.

They will battle it out at Winnington Park Recreation Club, in Park Road, from 7.30pm on Saturday, January 31.

Tickets are £5 for adults or £2.50 for children.

For more information ring 01606 606033 or 01606 48883.

Northwich X Factor is being sponsored by Cheshire West and Chester Council, Amplify Youth Music Project, Northwich and District Youth Club, The Iron Bridge, Omnia, HD Travel, Stagecoach Theatre Arts, Northwich Music Centre, Northwich Independent Retailers Association, Quicksteps School of Dance and Project 9 Studios.