EAST Lancashire’s answer to The X Factor is launched tonight with the first of five contests to find a star of tomorrow.

Star Maker aims to discover the best singing talent in Burnley, Pendle and Craven from live shows at Nelson’s ACE Centre every Friday night until July 6.

Auditions have been held over the past few weeks and 14 finalists have been selected to go head-to-head for a £1,000 cash prize, a recorded album and a slot in one of the Roadhouses at this August’s Great British R&B Festival in Colne.

The winner will be picked from the final four at a grand final on July 15.

The 14 acts which got through from ‘boot camp’ are: Paul Arthers, Angela Major, Breeze Bowker, Leah Jayne Kellett, Stevie-Leigh Gough, Libby Dempsey and Taylor Made from Nelson; Abi-Scarlett Howard and Rhian Thornton (Burnley); Celia Foulkes (Trawden); Megan Brennand and Sophie Garner (Barnoldswick); Jessica Hind (Brierfield); Katie Wilkinson (Cowling) and Emily Hall (Bradford).

Organiser Aaron Whitehall-Pain said: “The aim is to find local talent and give them a chance to get noticed.

“I knew there were a lot of gifted people out there just waiting to be discovered and, from what we have seen so far at the auditions, I think we have found them.

“We are in for some musical treats at the live shows and I would encourage people who want to see what talent we have right on our doorstep to come along and see for themselves!

“We are also hoping to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support, with 50p from every entry and ticket sold being donated to this very worthy charity.”

The judges will be the three members of local band Diva Dynamic, plus a different special guest at each of the shows.

There will be five live shows – every Friday from June 8 until July 6 at The ACE Centre and the live Final will be held at The Muni in Colne on Sunday, July 15.

Live show tickets cost £5.00 each, which can be bought from The Muni’s Box Office on 01282 661234 or The ACE Centre on 01282 661080.