Stars in making prove Ipswich has talent

He strolled on stage and gave a little wave to his fans and the judges.Larger than life Dave Clarke, dressed in his finest suit, cut a figure of confidence and calm.

IPSWICH: He strolled on stage and gave a little wave to his fans and the judges.

Larger than life Dave Clarke, dressed in his finest suit, cut a figure of confidence and calm.

The judges at the Ipswich Has Got Talent contest were expectant. Could we possibly be about to witness the emergence of the male equivalent of Susan Boyle?

And when the music started and the 51-year-old started singing, the Corn Exchange erupted. Yes, we have found a star in the making … and yes, he is certainly someone who could make a name for himself in the same way as the famous Scottish songstress.


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The hairs on the back of the neck stood up as his voice soared into the roof filling the auditorium with his rendition of the Matt Munro hit, The Impossible Dream.

And that dream became reality just over an hour later when Dave, of Church Lane, Tattingstone, was crowned the winner of the competition.

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The entertainment on show for the 700-plus who flocked to the complex was testament to the wonderful talent in Ipswich.

Dave picked up the top prize of the evening and the youth section was also won by a singer - this time one with an angelic voice who looks destined for future stardom.

Camilla Nunn got the judges verdict with her version of Rihanna's Take A Bow. And many in the packed audience could have been forgiven for thinking it was the real thing as the 16-year-old, of Meadow Crescent, in Warren Heath, sung her heart out.

The evening, which was organised by SMILE (Safety Makes Ipswich Life Enjoyable) and was set up jointly by Ipswich Borough Council and Suffolk Police and supported by The Evening Star, was hailed an outstanding success with tributes paid to chief organiser Pcso Kevin Smith, whose band Hot Fuzz also entertained during the interval. Earlier, samba band Samboomba opened proceedings on Thursday night.

Also on stage to end the show was Ipswich-based band Underline The Sky who gave a pulsating 30-minute set before the results were announced.

But the stars of the show were Dave and Camilla. Big Dave, a father-of-two who works as a construction project manager in London, said his prize for winning meant the realisation of a dream - he is to sing in front of literally thousands of people during half time at an Ipswich match at Portman Road.

Dave has been singing for 16 years and won his heat to the final at The Smock, in Maidenhall Approach.

“I've won some competitions in London and also appeared at the Hackney Empire but I'm so thrilled to have won the Ipswich contest as there were so many great acts,” he said.

Camilla, who is a pupil at Copleston High School, in Ipswich, said it was a “shock” for her winning her category.

“It was my first ever competition which was why it was such a shock to win,” she said.

Although it was her initial talent contest she is no stranger to the stage as she has appeared in shows for the Landseer Players and the Felixstowe Amateur Dramatic and Operatic Society.

THE FULL LINE UP:

Nicki Blanch, singer

Michelle Woodhouse and Ryan Gooding, singing duo

Jade Peters, singer

Damien Blackburn and Keeley Cooper, dancers

Danielle Langdon, singer

Laura Hillhouse, singer

Camilla Nunn, singer

Dave Clarke, singer

Lizzie Turner, singer

Steven Mayo, Elvis impersonator

Lynn Ceylan, singer

Ali Hewitt, singer

Melanie Woodhouse, singer

JUDGES

Nadia Cenci, Ipswich Borough councillor for Stoke Park

Gary Kitching, assistant chief constable, Suffolk Constabulary

Russell Cook, head of news, Evening Star

Matthew Long, Planet Music Recording Studio

Sharon Cony, Heart FM

THE PRIZES FOR THE WINNERS

Dave picked up a four-hour recording session at Planet Music Recording Studio; a night at the Ramada Encore Hotel, in Ranelagh Road, Ipswich; six bottles of champagne, a year's free membership at Fitness First, and the chance to sing during half time at a Championship match at Portman Road.

Camilla also won a four-hour recording session at the studio and an iPod.

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