A TEENAGE singer and guitarist who just missed out on making the final of a major music competition last year is hoping to go one better this time.

Last year Ty Lewis, 13, of Billingham, missed out on the national TeenStar final in London by just a few judges’ marks after winning through the first two rounds.

In the year since then Ty, of Northfield School, Billingham, has learned to play the guitar and his mum, Mandy Booth, has said he has gained a lot of confidence.

She said: “Ty would do small concerts with his singing teacher and her other pupils but he wouldn’t, say, stand up and sing in a karaoke in front of strangers.

"Last year before the competition I said to him, ‘if you don’t like it, don’t worry, just forget it,’ but he loves it. All the comments from the judges really gave him confidence, although he’s not cocky. It’s been really good for him.

“He started playing the guitar and it was quite funny because he’d play, ‘guess the tune,’ and at first we couldn’t guess what he was playing, but he’s really improved a lot and the guitar means he can mix up songs himself.”

Ty has already got through one round in the TeenStar competition and the next is in Newcastle on Saturday, March 22.

If Ty gets through there will be another north of England competition, followed by the final in London.