Former X Factor contestant and Celebrity Big Brother housemate Christopher Maloney is hoping to find the stars of the future here in Wirral.

He launched his new dance and theatre academy in New Brighton on Monday night, aiming to give youngsters a similar experience of attending a London stage school to help hone their skills.

The opening honours were performed by Hollyoaks actress Terri Dwyer, Mayor and Mayoress of Wirral Cllr Pat and Mrs Elaine Hackett, Radio City’s Claire Simmons and Wirral Radio’s Bev Macca.

Chris is hoping this venture here will have the same success as his first academy in Liverpool which has been operating for two years.

He said: “The launch was amazing - it was a real success. The children really enjoyed themselves and got involved which was so great to see.

“I’m so proud of all the children who attend my academy as it enables me to give those who wouldn’t have the opportunity of attending a stage school in London to experience it in their hometown.”

Chris and his team will be getting involved in running the classes which cover singing, acting and dancing.

He added: “To see their faces light up on a weekend when they get the opportunity to perform and be trained by professionals in the industry fills me with pride.

“There are still spaces left for children to join, we will never turn anyone down, I want to give them their chance to shine.”

Chris said he has already set his sights on opening his third academy in Shrewsbury next month.