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Talent on show as W Factor returns to Wendell Park

From singers to dancers, rappers to magicians, musical groups to solo stars, the annual talent competition at a Shepherds Bush primary school tries to unearth the celebrities of tomorrow.

This year’s event on 18 March aims to be bigger and better than ever as the W Factor contest at Wendell Park primary marks its 10th anniversary.

On the Friday evening, 11 stage acts will compete for the W Factor title in front of a capacity 150-strong audience in the school hall in Cobbold Road.

Thirty children will be involved, aged between six and 11, overcoming stage fright to impress a panel of judges, just like on the ITV show.

On the judging panel this year Joshua Francois, owner and creative director of Arch 197 Dance Studio, the only street dance studio in west London. He’s joined by Fiona Putman, actor and co-founder of London-based youth theatre company Infinite Jest, whose passion is making Shakespeare accessible to young people; and Year 3 teacher and head of English at Wendell Park School, Nick Morgan.

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Image caption: Image 2: 2012 Wendell Park W Factor winners

London-based Canadian actor Alex McMorran, who successfully compered the W Factor in 2015, will be returning for a second year to host the 10th anniversary spectacular. Alex, originally from Vancouver, is a graduate of LAMDA in Hammersmith and has won awards for his work.

This year’s finalists will hope to follow in the footsteps of last year’s winner Rhianna Oatway Webb and an elite group of past winners including Ashleen Shina, who took the trophy in 2013 with her brilliant breakdancing; Siobhan Callender, who scooped the prize two years ago performing a Little Mix song; and Isaiah King who won the very first W Factor back in 2006 with an amazing Michael Jackson performance.

Tickets are £5 for adults and free (but ticketed) for children, who must be accompanied. All profits go to the Friends of Wendell Park which is raising money for its new playground, after-school clubs and the upkeep of the school’s book corners.

Support comes from Finlay Brewer, the estate agent with an office in Askew Road, which will supply programmes, certificates, medals and the winner’s cup on the night.

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Image caption: Image 3: The W Factor judging panel