THE region has an aspiring hopeful to support in a new, but rather boring, national talent competition.

However, with the shock departure of 16-year-old Middlesbrough singer Amelia Lily from the X Factor, supporters of North-East talent can now follow the fortunes of a fresh but sturdy competitor from Ingleby Barwick, near Stockton.

And on Monday the nation will learn whether it has been crowned winner of The Fence Factor. The quirky-looking fence, constructed to look like a brick wall, is one of ten shortlisted in the contest, dubbed Britain’s most boring competition.

It was designed by Stockton company Woodbrick, although their creation is up against tough opposition from Enniskillen to Exeter.

Photos of dozens of fences were sent to organisers Local-, which represents 150 UK fencing firms, and judges appraised the entries for looks and practicality to draw up the shortlist.

The Ingleby Barwick fence, designed to interlock with other fencing panels, is in the garden of company director Tommy Hoyle. Woodbrick reports that it has already sold a dozen, mainly in the local area. Rivals include a fence made from rope, one fitted with windows and another designed to allow a horse to lean over so it can be patted.

A spokesman for Local- said it was time for fences to have their moment in the national spotlight “The X Factor has been a huge hit promoting some of Britain’s hidden musical talent and we decided it was only fair that fences across the UK had the same opportunity to be appreciated,” he said.

“The competition has been criticised and called the most boring competition ever, but we don’t care.”

Ken Dale, of Stockton, one of the team of Woodbrick designers, said the fence could also be used in eco-buildings as well as gardens.

“We’ve also designed and made a machine to make it and the interest has been enormous,” he added.

For details go to woodbrick.