Junior Eurovision - France has won this year's Junior Eurovision Song Contest, which was held in Yerevan, Armenia. Thirteen-year-old Lissandro won with 203 points for his song Oh Maman! beating hosts Armenia in second place, Georgia third, and Ireland fourth. The United Kingdom came fifth overall with 146 points - although it did win the public vote. The UK's entrant, Freya Skye, performed live after suffering with vocal issues during rehearsals.
Rising Stars - R&B vocal harmony group Flo have won the Brits rising star award. The London-based trio only released their debut single, Cardboard Box, in March, but won instant praise for their retro-styled girl band sound. Formed in 2021, they comprise singers Stella Quaresma and Renée Downer, who met at the Sylvia Young Stage School, and Jorja Douglas, who they discovered on Instagram. The prize, formerly known as the Critics' Choice award, has previously tipped the likes of Adele, Florence + the Machine and Sam Fender for success. Last year's winner was singer-songwriter Holly Humberstone.
Mamma Mia! - ITV has confirmed plans for a UK-wide search to find two new leads for musical Mamma Mia! in the West End. Mamma Mia! – I Have a Dream is an eight-part series from TV production company Thames and Mamma Mia! production company Littlestar, which will be shown on ITV1.
The broadcaster said the contestants would be “put through their paces as they navigate their way through challenges, masterclasses and performances”. It will be filmed in Greece, where the musical is set, and contestants will be mentored by guest industry stars and judged by a panel of well-known experts in both music and theatre, yet to be announced. The competition will culminate in a live grand-finale, broadcast from a theatre in the West End, where two winners will take land the leads of Sophie and Sky in the musical.
Farewell - Jet Black, the original drummer for 1970s and 80s punks The Stranglers, has died aged 84, the band has confirmed. The musician, who was born Brian Duffy, was a founding member of the Guildford group, playing on hits like Golden Brown, Peaches and No More Heroes. A successful businessman, he owned a fleet of ice cream vans and later an off-licence called The Jackpot and a home brewery. In the early days, the Stranglers used one of the vans as a tour bus and his shop as their headquarters. RIP
(Jim Evans)
13 December 2022

Latest Issue. . .