X Factor-style competition for Leicestershire businesses raises £40,000
Business people sang and performed their hearts out to raise more than £40,000 for charity at an event inspired by the X Factor.
Twelve acts, of accountants, lawyers, bankers and other professionals took to the stage for Leicestershire Y Factor at the O2 Academy in Leicester, in front of an audience of more than 600 people.
The winning act was the trio of Chris Rees and Ellena Pearson, from law firm Nelsons, and Graham Brown, from HSBC, who performed Everybody Needs Somebody.
The performances were judged by a panel which included Showaddywaddy frontman Dave Bartram, former X Factor star Andy Abrahams and chairman of Triumph Motorcycles, Lord Digby Jones.
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The amount raised will be split between the disability charity Mencap and the Lord's Taverners, which supports youth cricket and sports for disabled people.
It was a record total for a Y Factor event. Others have been held around the country.
Event organiser Ian Guyler, a business consultant, said: "The costumes were brilliant, the bands were fantastic and it was a great night.
"The strategy was to be the best Y Factor nationally and that is what Leicester has done.
"We had the biggest audience and the biggest variety of participants, with lawyers, accountants, people from industry, charity and the NHS all taking part, so it was a real spread.
"There were some very professional acts and then there were some who were, let's say, more entertaining."
The comperes were former England and Leicestershire cricketer Paul Nixon and England and Tigers player George Chuter.
The event was sponsored by Aga specialist and bathroom retailer Pochin, of Leicester, Blusource, Cambridge & Counties Bank and Gateley.
Gary Wilkinson, chief executive of Cambridge & Counties Bank, said: "It was an amazing night.
"It was great to see so many people working together for such worthy causes and having fun at the same time.
"I'm delighted we chose to sponsor the event and to back an exciting initiative involving the business community, which is our key audience."
Andrew Springhall, chief executive of Blusource, said: "Thank heavens the recession is coming to an end so Leicester's professionals don't have to rely on their singing careers.
"But the generosity and charitable spirit of all present was as reliable and impressive as ever.
"Well done to everyone who took part."