FIDDLER James Findlay strutted his stuff to wow the judges and win the top honour at the BBC Young Folk Awards.

The 21-year-old from Dorchester performed a stunning set of traditional songs to beat off some stiff competition and earn the prestigious title at Broadcasting House.

James said: “It was a fantastic weekend. I said before the competition that everybody was entirely different and I think anyone could have won.”

James was up against some of the most talented young musicians in the country, with his rivals coming from Scotland, Northern Ireland, Devon, Lancashire and the Isle of Skye.

Each of the six finalists had to play a 10-minute set at the BBC Radio Theatre before top folk musician Jon Boden announced James as the pick of the bunch.

James said it was a special feeling when he was announced as the competition winner.

He said: “I had to go up on stage and perform again, then I invited everyone else back on stage to play, which was really nice.”

As well as picking up a trophy, James – who also sings and plays the guitar – will now be invited to play at a host of festivals and events, as well as being offered free membership of the Musicians Union for a year and a recording session at Radio Two.

James, who began playing the fiddle as an eight-year-old, said the reality of winning and all it will entail has yet to really sink in, but he was looking forward to the prestige of holding the title and the opportunities it would bring.

He said: “It’s also about having the title behind you, it attracts attention.”

Highlights of the BBC Folk Awards will be aired on Mike Harding’s Radio Two programme tomorrow night from 7pm.

James will also be back in action locally this weekend as he performs with his ceilidh band Dyer-Cummings at Martinstown Village Hall.

The concert is on Saturday from 7.30pm.

Tickets, which cost £6, are available on the door or in advance by calling Steve on 07976 377359.