The winner of a regional speaking competition has made it past 19,000 students to star in the grand final.

On July 2 Josh Tedeku from Burnt Mill Academy will perform at the Cambridge Theatre in front of a crowd of 1,000 as part of the Jack Petchey Speak Out Challenge.

Mr Tedeku won the West Essex final at Epping St John last month and will now take on 15 of his contemporaries from across Essex and London.

He will have to win the admiration of judges including Amanda Spielman, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector at Ofsted, LBC presenter James O’Brien and journalist and author Yasmin Alibhai-Brown.

On the line is £5,000, which is split into a £2,000 bursary for the winner and £3,000 for their school.