Louis Walsh in Portadown for talent competition

Louis Walsh
Louis Walsh

The organisers of Portadown’s Got Talent have delivered a major coup with news that X Factor judge Louis Walsh is coming to the town next Friday.

The creator of Boyzone, who has been the mainstay of ITV’s megahit X Factor show on Saturday nights, will be helping the finalists ahead of the event on Friday, June 12.

Louis Walsh will be in Portadown next Friday.

Louis Walsh will be in Portadown next Friday.

Louis will be arriving in Portadown in the early afternoon to meet the 12 lucky finalists, and give them a little supportive mentoring ahead of the event.

The free event, organised by Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council, will then get under way on Portadown town plaza at 6pm, when the evening’s host, Cool FM’S Gareth Stewart, will chat to Louis and glean some last-minute tips for the competitors before they take to the stage.

On the judging panel will be Shane Lynch of Boyzone; Portadown actress and model, Rachel Kennedy; Microlip’s very own keyboard player, Neil Guy; and stage and screen actor/director, Gerard McCabe.

The young starlets will each step into the limelight hoping to impress the panel, before the public finally vote to decide the winner.

Last year, over 3,500 people took to Portadown town centre for the star-studded contest, when 10-year-old singer and guitarist Michael Haughey was crowned as the winner.

Similar to the 2014 competition, this year’s event has been organised as part of the Shared Process and Community Engagement Project (SPACE), and funded through the Special European Programmes Body (SEUPB) PEACE III Priority 2 Contributing to a Shared Society Theme 1 Creating Shared Public Services.

After the vote, audience, performers, and judges will be treated to some fantastic musical entertainment from local online singing sensation, Emma Horan, and the ever-popular Portadown rock band Microlip, before Mikey, Parisa, Charlie and Betsy - otherwise known as ‘Only The Young’ - take to the stage. ‘Only The Young’ narrowly missed out on X Factor victory during the series last year.

Walsh however will be a massive attraction. He, probably more than any of the other judges, has become synonymous with the X Factor’s success.

In the meantime, check out www.portadownpeoplespark.co.uk or log on to Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council’s Facebook page, for lots of exciting news - including a fantastic opportunity to be photographed with Louis Walsh and the celebrity judges in a ‘Meet and Greet’ competition.