KNUTSFORD Studio School pupil Josh Whittaker is busy preparing for the Grand Final of Open Mic UK taking place on January 24 at the NEC, Birmingham.

Josh was one of only five singers in the under 16 category to be picked from his area final to compete in the Grand National Final of Open Mic UK.

This was the third stage of the competition and took place at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, seeing 29 acts whittled down to five who will battle it out against Area final winners from all over the country to be crowned the overall winner of Open Mic UK.

The sell-out event in the concert hall gave Josh the chance to impress the industry judges once again.

Josh was on 28th out of 29 acts and performed George Michael’s “I Can’t Make You Love Me” to an overwhelming response from the audience.

“I didn’t know how many of us would go through, so this feels like such an achievement,"Josh said.

"When I was leaving the Concert Hall people I didn’t know were stopping me and telling me that they had voted for me which was an amazing feeling."

Weeks of practise have gone into Josh’s preparation for the national final and he has had a busy Christmas and New Year performing at charity functions for The Christie Hospital and The Joshua Tree, as well as his regular slot at The Cheshire Cat, in Nantwich.

He has also been asked to co-host the Chart and Chat Show on local station RedShift Radio with Charlotte Birch.

“I feel so lucky that all this is happening for me, I love singing and the fact that it is bringing me so many different opportunities is unbelievable," Josh added.

"The most overwhelming thing about all of this is that so many people have supported me in so many ways, either by coming to watch, or through social media, or offering me opportunities to play.”

Text voting has now opened, so if you would like to vote for Josh text the code OPEN22 to 86222. Texts are UK only and cost £1 plus your standard text message.

For tickets to see him take part in the Grand Final please email or visit his facebook page