A NEWPORT teen with hopes of becoming the next Ed Sheeran has been given the thumbs up by judges of a national singing competition.

Kieran Marsh, of Maesglas Avenue, is through to the regional finals of TeenStar – the UK’s only singing competition specifically for teens.

He progressed through the recent auditions in Bristol with a rendition of Sheeran’s Little Bird, and will now perform a series of live showcases, but said he still wasn’t sure what he would sing.

The 13-year-old, who attends Duffryn High School, said: “I performed my mum’s favourite song at the auditions and got a good response. They said they liked the accompanying rhythm , and that there was good skill here. They said I had great guitar and vocal interplay, and called me solid act which I was chuffed with.”

Kieran is trying to follow in the footsteps of previous TeenStar winner – and X Factor star – Luke Friend.

But first He will now have to wow a professional judging panel in front of hundreds of people to win a place at the national grand final.

Chris Grayston, events co-ordinator for TeenStar said: “We are looking to find an act that has something unique to offer, another Birdy or Luke Friend that can go all the way, with both the ability to deliver a strong live performance but also potential to become a professional recording artist.”

Kieran’s mum Cheryl said: “We are all very proud of him and think it’s great that he is dreaming so big.”

Past judges for Future Music competitions include Radio 1 DJs Ras Kwame and Annie Nightingale MBE, KISS FM’s Charlie Hedges and four time Ivor Novello award winner Mark Hill, one half of the Artful Dodger.

For more information on the competition go to the website www.teenstarcompetition.co.uk