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Ruislip to host X-Factor style auditions
A PRESTIGIOUS theatre school will host an X Factor-style audition to give Hillingdon children the chance to become the next Leona Lewis.
Italia Conti Academy is Britain's oldest theatre arts training school and, for the last five years of its 100-year existence, has run an associate school in Ruislip.
Next month local children aged from eight to 16 years can compete to win a scholarship with the school as part of its centenary celebrations.
Yeading resident Angie Radford, niece of Phil Collins, has been principal in Ruislip since 2006 after she persuaded Italia Conti to open a school in Hillingdon.
The school now has over 300 pupils and classes are held at Ruislip High School, Greenwood Primary School and a new venue will be opening soon in Uxbridge.
Ms Radford said: "I'm really pleased to see how our students have progressed and how much fun they have, whether they have ambitions towards a theatrical career or not.
"Italia Conti has been marking one hundred years of success by holding centenary celebrations throughout this year and as part of that, I'm holding a local competition offering scholarships to young people in our community.
"Unfortunately, much of the talent out there is in families that might not be able to afford our classes so I hope this will help us discover them."
The competition is giving away a fully-paid scholarship for Saturday classes in Ruislip to two winners aged eight to 12 years and 13 to 16 years. They are each worth about £1,300. The six part-scholarships offer the same training at half-price.
The first audition will take place at Ruislip High School on Saturday, October 8. The recall will be two weeks later and the lucky winners will be notified there and then, to start their scholarships on November 5.
One pupil from Ruislip, 10-year-old Macey May, will be featured in the BBC documentary School for Stars, which follows the ups and downs of life studying at Italia Conti.
"It isn't just about putting young people on the stage," continued Ms Radford. "What we do fully supports their learning at school, and helps them develop on a personal and social level.
"We are part of our community and participate regularly alongside Hillingdon Arts Association."
Among Italia Conti's former pupils are former X Factor winner Leona Lewis, comedian Noel Howard, actor Martine McCutheon, model Kelly Brook and singer Pixie Lott.
HOW TO APPLY
Children must complete an application form and return it to 93 Telford Way, Yeading, UB4 9TH. To request a form email email@example.com or call Ms Radford on 0208 839 8747. They must also send a letter explaining why they would like to be considered for the scholarship and if they were successful, what it would mean to them.
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