Just two weeks ‘til ‘Opportunity Knocks’ at the Central Hotel 
in Donegal Town!

The biggest and best talent competition in the North West gets underway in a fortnight and the excitement is really building.

The biggest and best talent competition in the North West gets underway in a fortnight and the excitement is really building.

Registration closed last week and Eamonn Gillespie says there was a record number of entries.

“We are absolutely delighted to see so many people coming forward this year, from all parts of the North West, Northern Ireland and even the UK.

“The competition generated such excitement last year and we had great audiences, I think that’s what’s really encouraged so many people to have a go this year.

“There are all kinds of great entertainers - from singer songwriters and bands to dancers and comedians. Everyone is really looking forward to seeing them shine over the coming weeks.”

One potential aspect of this year’s competition is the chance that the overall winner might be featured on The Late Late Show. “We are presently negotiating with show’s research and production team and we are hoping that the overall winner of Opportunity Knocks 2013 will appear on The Late Late Show before the end of the current series,” Eamonn said.

This year’s judging panel has been just been finalised as well. Mickey Harte makes a welcome return as anchor judge and the organisers are also delighted that Brian Ormond of RTÉ is back again. They’ll be joined by singing star Philomena Begley and Deirdre McEnaney, Regional Advertising Manager with the Donegal Democrat and Derry Journal.

Mickey Joe Harte, one of Ireland’s foremost singer songwriters, needs no introduction. The Lifford native will be watching the musical acts especially closely, as will fellow panellist and country music singing legend Philomena Begley.

Brian Ormond, the TV presenter and singer who has been in the enterainment business since he was a toddler, will be keeping an eye out for the acts with that special unique quality and entertainment value.

Deirdre McEnaney brings a wealth of professional marketing experience in both the UK and Ireland to the judging panel. This acumen will, no doubt, give her a unique into how our audiences respond to each of the acts and that’s likely to be reflected in her views and her voting.

This year’s competition, which will run over six consecutive Saturday nights starting February 16, features a very hefty prize fund of €10,000: 1st prize of €5,000 and a recording contract if applicable, 2nd prize, €3,000 and 3rd prize, €2,000.

The registration closing date has been extended to tomorrow, Friday, February 1, so it’s not to late to get your name in to us. Call into us at The Diamond, Donegal Town, ring us on 074 972 1027, visit www.centralhoteldonegal.com or the centralhoteldonegal Facebook page.