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291 Talent Quest is the brainchild of DJ Elayne Smith

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DJ Elayne Smith’s Talent Search merged with Charlie Hanson’s Variety Show idea which then became 291 Club.

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The official 291 Club TV Show Credits from BFI Screen Online

Introduced on tv by presenter Miles Crawford as "a cross between the London Palladium and the Apollo in New York", the 291 Club is essentially a variety show staged at the Hackney Empire where the audience chooses the winner.

A range of diverse acts, including singers, dancers and musicians come on stage every week and try their luck in front of a merciless audience. Eschewing any notion of polite applause, any act which fails to entertain the crowd is soon booed off and given "early retirement." This involves the dreaded spectre of the Sandman, a six foot dread not averse to brandishing a mock-threatening foam baseball bat, coming on stage, stopping the contestants mid-song and dragging them off for a proverbial early bath.

The acts which do manage to finish their performances are then brought out at the end as the winner is chosen from whoever garners the loudest and longest applause from the audience. The hopefuls are bookended by two acts, the first often a seasoned stand up comic who helps get everyone in the mood, and the night's festivities end with a song from an established music act.

Ali Jaafar - BFI Screen Online

291 Club Judges

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    Ellen Thomas
    Actress
    Eastenders

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    Carl McIntosh
    Loose Ends
    Record Producer

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    Crystal Rose
    TV Celebrity
    Entrepreneur

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    Ed Adoo
    Presenter
    BBC Radio 3

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    Maria Kempinska MBE
    Founder of Jongleurs Comedy Clubs
    Music/Producer

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    Robert Bruce
    Drive Time Radio Presenter
    Capital Xtra

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    Leroy Logan MBE
    Former Superintendant
    Met Police

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    Lady Lex
    CEO
    Chaaawaaa Radio Station

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    Kennedy President Mensah
    Publishing
    Back To The Future Publishing

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    Representative
    Booking Agent
    Joke Club Comedy Clubs

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    A&R Representative
    Columbia
    Sony Records

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    Ivor Etienne
    CEO
    The Beat Radio Station

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    Trevor Sterling
    Chair Mary Seacole
    Partner Moore Blatch Solicitors

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291 Club

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Prizes and Surprises

Coming Soon

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Thank you for sponsoring.

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291 Club Limited

We are looking forward to bringing you our new season of 291Club while celebrating it’s history.

We are excited.

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Company Number - 11406832

Terms and conditions - Privacy Policy

To Apply To Take Part In Our Show

Please submit your mp4 video and/or mp3 audio along with a photo and a bit about yourself to Mr McKenzie at

contactus@291club.co.uk