The UTV network of local radio stations have completed their search for The Next Big Thing, and awarded a £100,000 recording contract.
Working with NUA Entertainment, the group has given Pete Gardiner from Belfast top prize in the singing competition, which has been promoted on stations in England and Wales all summer.
The final was held at the Cavern Club in Liverpool at the weekend and was hosted by Pat Sharp and Juice FM Breakfast host Adam Weighell. Thirteen of the final acts performed for a specially-invited audience, before a judging panel of industry experts concluded that Pete was the Next Big Thing.
Pete Gardiner said: “I’d just like to say thank you to everyone involved for such a great opportunity, I still can’t believe I’ve won. It was a fantastic experience and I’m glad I made the trip from Belfast!”
Terry Underhill, UTV Media Group Programming Director for local stations, said: “We knew we would find an incredible talent during this competition as UTV Media have stations right across the country so are perfectly placed to search far and wide for talent. Pete has all of the star quality we’re looking for and we know he’s going to do really well.”
NUA Entertainment chairman Paul Hardcastle says: “This guy had the whole of the cavern club in his pocket from the moment he took to the stage Pete was a worthy winner of The Next Big Thing.”