AFTER getting the thumbs up from X Factor judge Simon Cowell, two Whitefield brothers have taken another step closer to stardom by winning a prestigious talent show.

Youngsters Max and Harry Mondryk, of St Joseph's Avenue, picked up their biggest joint title to date last Saturday, when they were crowned junior winners in the Talented Youngster of the Year contest at a glitzy ceremony in Manchester.

Max (13) and Harry (11) faced some stiff competition, but wowed the judges and the crowd with their performance of I Will Follow You - a gospel song made famous in the film Sister Act 2 - and notched up another success on their road to fame.

Earlier this year, they proved they have what it takes to make it big by beating off competition from 54,000 other hopefuls to reach the last 100 in ITV hit show Britain's Got Talent.

During their audition in March at a packed-out Manchester Apollo theatre, they got the backing of all three judges, Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden and Piers Morgan. They went on to perform in London, and narrowly missed out on making the final 24.

The boys' mother, Sally, a professional performance manager, said that as a mum, she was proud, and as a coach, she forecast a bright future.

She said: "They have both come so far in such a short space of time and, with my work hat on, I really think they have the potential to be big, judging from the feedback so far. And, as their mum, I am just really proud of them."

"The judges really loved them last Saturday. One of them, Beverley Callard was up on her feet dancing. When they found out they had won, Harry was quietly pleased, but he's won solo contests before, but Max hasn't and he had an absolutely beaming smile from ear to ear. I was really delighted for him."

The competition, held at the Manchester Palace Hotel, raised £20,000 for Destination Florida, a charity for sick children to holiday in America.