AN Oxford musician has made it through to the national finals of a competition to find the UK’s next singing superstar.

Mecca Bingo’s Mecca Star competition will see hopeful Robert Sanderson perform live at The Belfry Hotel in Sutton Coldfield, next Saturday.

The judging panel will include some of The X Factor’s biggest stars including Ben Haenow, Misha B and 5 After Midnight, as well as soap star Claire King and Daily Star columnist Susan Hill.

The 37-year-old, who has been singing professionally for the past six years and is a member of the band The Livertones, auditioned after deciding he wanted to try his hand at performing solo.

The singer, originally from Newcastle, will be aiming to win the national Mecca Star final after beating the competition at auditions in London, where he performed Lay Me Down by Sam Smith in front of a panel of celebrity judges including reality TV star Charlotte Dawson and pop star Gareth Gates.

In the final, each of the six contestants will be judged on their singing talent, how entertaining their performances are and also their star potential.

The winning contestant will get the ultimate star treatment, winning the chance to perform alongside their X Factor idols, as well as £2,500.

Mr Sanderson said: “It was an amazing feeling getting through to the national finals of the competition but now the pressure is on.

“It would mean so much to be heard as a soloist, it would give me such a wonderful sense of achievement.

“If I’m lucky enough to win, I would put the cash prize money towards going back to study as I want to become a life and motivational coach helping kids with their mental health, and adults in achieving their dreams.”

Caroline Webb, spokeswoman for Mecca Bingo, said: “We’re extremely excited that Robert has made it through to the national finals. Who knew there was so much hidden talent out there?

“Robert has really set the bar, so expectations are high for his final performance later this month.

“The panel of celebrity judges are certainly going to have a difficult job when it comes to choosing Mecca’s singing superstar.”

To view all the finalists in action visit