A SOUTH Oxfordshire company has been named British Fireworks Champions 2018, after a stunning display.

Wallingford’s Illusion Fireworks won the accolade at the British Fireworks Championships, following an explosive two-day showdown with six other British pyrotechnic specialists in Plymouth, Devon.

And the company, which achieved one of the highest scores in competition history, is already gearing up for a ‘battle royale’ with five previous winners.

Organisers says tens of thousands gathered to watch the waterside at Plymouth Hoe for the ten-minute displays.

As the penultimate act on the second day, Illusion also won ‘Best Display’ on the night.

Hosted by Plymouth City Council and The Event Services Association (TESA), the British Firework Championships are one of the biggest annual displays put on by professional firework companies in the UK.

Proud Illusion company director Karl Mitchell-Shead, who also designed the performance, said: “It was a huge moment for us when we found out Illusion had been selected to compete in the national competition. It is the pinnacle and largest event in UK fireworks, we were up against some of the biggest names in the firework industry, so it has been very daunting.

“To compete at the championships is one thing, to win it outright has just been incredible and the comments from our peers and people that have seen the show video have just been overwhelming.

“It’s only sinking in now that we have achieved something pretty special - I have been told it is one of the highest scores in the competition’s history, I’m very proud of my team.”

The company is behind major displays in Wallingford, Didcot and Grove and is also set to launch a ‘huge’ new display in Abingdon this November.

Mr Mitchell-Shead continued: “Work has already started on next year’s ‘Champion of Champions’ display where we go head to head with the last five champions in a firework battle royale. The pressure is on as we now have a lot to live up to.”

Plymouth deputy council leader Pete Smith said: “This year’s British Firework Championships were once again a great success.

“All the companies put on a fantastic show and I’d like to congratulate Illusion Fireworks on their incredible winning display.”