HITCHIN youngsters proved that they were a force to be reckoned with on Saturday, as they performed in front of a crowd at this year’s Hitchin’s Got Talent.

The Voice of Hitchin Youth organised the competition, which was open to Hitchin residents under the age of 18 who showcased their singing, Irish dancing, break dancing and Indian drumming.

But the judging panel, which included Gareth Lloyd from BBC Introducing and Steve Smither from Rhythms of the World (RotW), crowned singer James Christie and street dance group Anarchy as the winners from the 13 acts.

After the competition, Gareth said: “Every performer should be very proud.

“With such an array of talent, our job of choosing just two acts to perform at the festival was nearly impossible.”

Both winners will now go onto perform at this year’s RotW on Sunday, on the new Icehouse Stage.

Rebecca Alfano, who runs Anarchy as part of Hitchin dance troupe Bex Crew said that the youngsters were “delighted” to be performing at RotW.

The act, which also included members from Rebecca’s other group Chaos, was made up of 12 dancers between the ages of eight and 15, some of whom perform internationally.

“We’ve performed at RotW before, so were disappointed that we had not been asked to do so this year,” said Rebecca.

“Then this competition came along, and we thought it would be the perfect opportunity.

“Everyone is so excited to be on the new stage at this year’s Rhythms. We’re looking forward to returning bigger and better than ever, and hope to put on an amazing show.”