Darth Vader to judge 'Essex Factor'

A TALENT contest in Essex which is following in the footsteps of television's The X Factor will have a judge just as fearsome as Simon Cowell - none other than Darth Vader.

James Hore

A TALENT contest in Essex which is following in the footsteps of television's The X Factor will have a judge just as fearsome as Simon Cowell - none other than Darth Vader.

The Essex Factor competition, which is being run by the county council, aims to uncover the very best up-and-coming acts among young people in education.

And to help sort the great from the good and not so good, the council has lined up a team of judges - including Dave Prowse, the man who played Darth Vader in the original Star Wars films.


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Mr Prowse, who is now manager of rock act, Losing Sun, said: “I am proud to lend my support to the project.

“I know all about achieving ambitions and am delighted to do my bit to encourage the young people of Essex to go out and really chase their dreams.”

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Other judges are Essex band InME; Ian Greaves, director of music programming UK for Napster and Mike Bromfield and Ollie Winiberg presenters of the BBC Essex show Introducing and the station's youngest DJs.

Council leader Lord Hanningfield said: “Essex has a tremendous history as a production line for artists who have gone on to achieve world renown and really leave a lasting musical legacy.

“It would be terrific if this competition could go some way towards launching the next Essex sensation.”

The competition is open to anyone aged 18 or under in education in Essex with two categories - one for pupils in years seven, eight and nine, and one for youngsters in years 10, 11, 12 and 13.

The winners of each category will be given a day in a recording studio, a photo shoot and will be presented with copies of the CD and their song will also be featured on the Introducing show.

n The competition is open to all styles of music and there is also an Essex Factor page on social networking website Facebook.

Anyone wanting to take part can send their CD to The Essex Factor, CG05, County Hall, Chelmsford, CM1 1LX or email an MP3 to theessexfactor@essex.gov.uk by October 31 and recordings should be between two and four minutes long.

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