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Published:  23 July, 2008

Olly Smith, a 30-year-old voiceover artist and scriptwriter from Lewes, near Brighton, has scooped the title of Hardys' Wine Idol in a nationwide competition to find a new TV personality to enthuse the nation about wine. More than 400 people across the country entered the competition, which was run by Constellation Wines' Hardys brand. After two elimination stages, the competition culminated in a final in London on Friday 4 February, which saw nine finalists go head-to-head for the title of Wine Idol. Each finalist was charged with performing in front of the camera, and a panel of judges, including representatives from UKTV Food, to see which contestant had the star qualities to become a presenter with popular appeal. I've been enjoying wine, communicating about wine and getting out there tasting everything I can for the past 10 years. It's always been a pleasure and this means everything to me,' said Smith, who presented Diznk Tokay at the final. I'd like to say a big thanks to the crew in Hungary, who were very helpful. It's an utterly delicious and enchanting wine that is one of my favourites,' he added. Paul Hillier, of Hardys Wines, said: We believe that in Olly we have truly found the Jamie Oliver of the wine world, and that he will act as an excellent ambassador for wine with a broad appeal to wine drinkers of all ages.' As part of the prize for winning Wine Idol, Smith will be given a screen test at Prospect Pictures - producers of Good Food Live and Saturday Kitchen. An interview with Olly Smith and a report on wine on TV will appear in next week's Harpers.