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Jedward fever sets in as fans line up for chance to share the stage with twins

HUNDREDS of hopefuls have lined out at the Olympia for a chance to star with Jedward -- thanks to the Herald.

And the brothers themselves would have found it difficult to generate more excitement than was present outside auditions.

Friends and family were on hand to calm nerves as hopeful young stars auditioned for their chance to star with the brothers in the Christmas panto, Cinderella.

Meadhbh Flynn (12) from Artane breezed through the first audition.

"I thought it was quite easy, but they said it would be harder today," she said.

"Watch out Jedward because 'Shicole' is here," is the motto of 11-year old twins Shannon and Nicole Byrne from Coolock.

With their blond hair up in buns nearly as high as Jedward's own locks, the two girls were determined to give the boys a run for their money.

Having previously taken part in the All Ireland Talent Show, their mother Lorraine described how she is "used to long queues in the morning."

The hopeful auditionees were divided into groups of 20 when they first arrived. They were then taught a dance routine which they went on to perform for the judges.

Caoimhe Travers (14) was first in line for the second round of auditions and wanted to make it clear that she was not looking for a boyfriend in either of the twins.

Neeama Keogh (13) from Dundrum was back for her second audition sporting an autographed blue Jedward hoody.

Dislike

A truly dedicated fan, Neeama has been to her fair share of Jedward shows. And her mother is even more dedicated, having travelled to a Killarney show with Neeama despite her intense dislike for the quiff-haired twins.

Molly Smith (13) said she was "more nervous about starting school next week than her audition". Dancing from the age of six, Molly said about Jedward: "I like them but I'm not a crazed fan."

While many of the fans were on the fence about which twin they preferred, Carlow cousins Clodagh McHugh (11), Anna McHugh, (10) and Ellen Dempsey (8) are dedicated to team Edward.

Ready to give Jedward a run for their money are Laois lads Oisin McHugh (14) and Pauric Dempsey (13) who were in plenty of time for the boys' auditions later that day.

If selected, Cinderella would become Oisin's sixth pantomime after he appeared in his first, Bugsy Malone, at the tender age of seven.

Panto producer Stuart O'Connor was the main man for the dancers to impress.

Speaking to the Herald, Stuart was very optimistic for Cinderella.

"I think it's going to be great," he said. "We needed to give panto in Dublin a bit of a kick. I think we really raised the bar this year and everyone else should do the same."

Rehearsals will begin over the Halloween mid term break, and the show will run from December 22 to January 9.

hnews@herald.ie