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Video: 2014 Ipswich Has Got Talent show kicks off with performances from former champions Natasha Staffieri and Leah Godbold,

PUBLISHED: 22:21 02 March 2014 | UPDATED: 16:32 03 March 2014

The launch of Ipswich Has Got Talent 2014 at the Kingfisher pub in Ipswich. Past performers L-R: Leah Godbold, Sam Ridgeon and Natasha Staffieri.

The launch of Ipswich Has Got Talent 2014 at the Kingfisher pub in Ipswich. Past performers L-R: Leah Godbold, Sam Ridgeon and Natasha Staffieri.

Archant

Ipswich Has Got Talent 2014 kicked off with a flourish over the weekend as two former champions gave breathtaking performances.

The competition, which has been running since 2009, will for this year be split into three categories of song, dance and variety. Each category will have a winner, and one of those three will go on to be crowned overall champion.

At the Kingfisher Public House on Saturday the competition got underway with a number of performances, including one from last year’s winner Leah Godbold, and one from the 2011 winner Natasha Staffieri.

After performing ‘At Last’ from the musical Orchestra Wives and made famous by Etta James, Leah Godbold spoke of having been invited to perform at the Jimmy’s Farm Christmas Fayre and other events hosted by Jimmy Doherty, as well as performing at the Ipswich Christmas Lights switch-on.

Neil Macdonald, the deputy leader of Ipswich Borough Council, also spoke at the event and commended the volunteers for their hard work as well as praising the talent performers.

“800 people went to the final last year,” he said, “I think it shows how good it is that you got those people on a cold November night instead of them staying in and watching X-Factor or Strictly Come Dancing.”

This year’s final will be at the earlier date of September 27 and the heats will take place between April and June.

Mike Grimwood, project manager for Ipswich Has Got Talent, said: “The whole reason we put this on is to engage with all of the communities in Ipswich and to bring the diversity into it, where people are happy to enter the heats from all ages and all backgrounds.

“It’s not restricted to any one group whatsoever, it encourages other people to come together who would not normally come together, and then it culminates in a great final at The Regent which is a prestigious event.

“We’ve had people like gymnasts saying it’s the first year where they felt like they’ve had the chance to come along and do things like that.

“Dance groups will get more of a chance to come along because of the fact that we have three categories, so hopefully this year there’ll be far more variety, rather than just singing.”

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