A WARRINGTON duo have the chance of being named one of the best emerging artists after reaching the Grand Final of Open Mic UK.

More than 10,000 people enter the annual competition – from solo singers and songwriters, to rappers and bands – and now George Young and Greg Dixon are among around 20 finalists.

This year it has become an online search for British talent due to the pandemic and the final will be streamed on July 1.

That means George and Greg have only days to write, record and produce a new song.

The competition is judged by people from all sections of the music business including major record labels, national radio stations and BBC Introducing service.

And if they win, they will get £2,500 plus industry support to take their career to the next level.

There is a cash prize of £1,500 for second place and £1,000 for third place.

Greg, from Orford, said: "It's just mad that we made a video during first lockdown and threw it out there not expecting a thing and now it's come to this.

"Obviously lockdown and the pandemic have been a challenge for everyone, but honestly coming out of this having at least got this far has been insane, and kind of validated all of the time and effort and patience that we've had and everyone has had for us wailing at them at every opportunity.

"The last round was insanely tough and we're just fortunate to have a lot of support around us. I feel like we've grown as artists. It's all been a new challenge but hopefully we'll smash it in the final."

The pair – who perform under George's name – met about three years ago at The Lounge (now Post House) in Springfield Street at an open mic night that former St Gregory's student Greg was hosting.

George, from Old Hall, added: "From when we were told we were through to the semis we had almost two weeks to produce a new track.

"Unfortunately we were all incredibly busy for the first week, so we managed to write, record, produce and video the track within a few days. It was madness but what we came out with was really special.

"I've now come to realise I hate these live shows and don't deal well with watching them. I was with my girlfriend away for her birthday when it was on and I couldn't watch it so I just asked her to tell me what happened.

"The judges seemed to really like our track and both the reps from Sony and Polydor loved it so I was absolutely over the moon. They gave us the vote boost which gets added to our tally and then it was a case of getting everybody we know to help and vote for us.

"It came down to the wire but we ended up top of our group – the support and love we have received so far as been overwhelming.

"I'll be honest with you. I was shaking when we found out we'd made the grand final of a UK-wide contest.

"I can't thank our supports enough, in particular my girlfriend Emma who without I'd have been an absolute wreck waiting for those results.

"No rest for the wicked. We have just days to again write, record and produce another world class song. We have something we are working on and we are incredibly excited to get this out there for people to wrap their ears around.

"But again thank you to everyone who's supporting us and please continue your support in the final on July 1."

Greg also reserved special thanks for Rob Clark and Craig Harman.