As talented hopefuls from around the globe descended on the Blackpool Opera House, it was an eight-year-old magician who showed the town has talent.
Devoted Harry Potter fan Issy Simpson wowed and baffled the panel of celebrity judges with the young Blackpool lass became the stand-out performer from Saturday night’s Britain’s Got Talent show.
The confident Hermione Grainger-wannabe climbed down from the stage to join Simon Cowell before bamboozling him with a series of stunts and ended on an impressive card trick.
Receiving a standing ovation, Issy didn’t seem one bit fazed by the prospect of being seen by millions of viewers on the ITV show - never mind the packed audience in front of her.
Although the show featured auditions from Blackpool, the resort schoolgirl was actually seen on stage at The Lowry theatre in Salford.
When BGT judge Alesha Dixon came to the town in January to kick off this year’s series of auditions, she described Blackpool as ‘the UK version of Las Vegas’, and Issy’s act certainly wouldn’t have looked out of place in the ‘Entertainment Capital of the World’.
Watch Issy’s performance here
But before Issy, residents of Lancashire might have been worried the county wasn’t showing the best it had to offer.
The 8pm show began with the judges riding along the Promenade on a bus before David Walliams made a characteristically flamboyant entrance on a donkey-pulled carriage.
Panoramic shots of Blackpool Tower, the beach and the Winter Gardens showed off some of Blackpool’s best bits and the town’s mayor Kath Rowson said: “Blackpool has so much talent, I just hope it turns up!”
Coun Rowson might have been disappointed with the start, as Tony Allen’s one-man-band was buzzed off, before 69-year-old Linda McMurray brought her drag Charlie Chaplin to the stage.
When she struck up singing Nat King Cole’s hit Smile, she went on to shock viewers when she started to strip off the black suit to reveal a bright pink dress - and didn’t stop there.
Unsurprisingly, she was also buzzed off by the four judges, Cowell, Walliams, Dixon and Amanda Holden.
Then it was 47-year-old IT expert Simon Cowell’s, yes really, turn to be buzzed off as he failed to balance spoons on his face.
Even when talent did show up, in the form of a husband and wife dancing duo, they had travelled all the way from Beijing, China to be at the auditions.
The show then moved to the Salford venue, where Issy set the bar high and the show of talent went from strenght to strength.
The highlights were a high-flying nine-year-old on a scooter, a tear-jerking dance act, a piano-playing lovestruck teen and a musical comedian, who finished off what Amanda Holden described as “a thoroughly entertaining day”.