NAMES from the world of entertainment will be hoping to pull in the crowds when they take part in a national awards ceremony.

And for the first time the Scottish Entertainment Awards will open its doors to the public.

The ticketed variety show will be part of the prize ­ceremony on May 18.

X Factor star Nicholas MacDonald, comedian Lee Nelson and Britain's Got Talent duo Richard and Adam will be among the acts performing at the ­Armadillo in Glasgow.

And host for the evening will be comedian, panto star and DJ Des Clarke.

Organiser Warren Paul said: "The public have never been involved in the event, it's always been hospitality trade only.

"This year for the first time ever, I think for any hospitality event, we are ­allowing the general public to come along and sample what it's like behind the scenes and get a feel for what it's all about."

Now in its third year, the awards celebrate the best of Scottish pubs, nightclubs, restaurants, venues, hotels and attractions, which are nominated and voted for by the public.

After the public voting closes in April, a team of 18 judges will visit the five nominees with the highest number of votes in each category.

They will then be judged on a range of points including service, food, drinks, ­atmosphere and staff knowledge, before being given an overall score.

The venue with the highest score from each category will be crowned the winner.

This year, as well as the traditional categories, ­including Scotland's best Italian, best family restaurant and best newcomer, ­organisers have introduced new groups, Best Community Pub and Best Independent Hotel.

Warren said: "There were so many independently owned pubs and hotels that were out with city centres last year and they were competing with city centre places or chains, which is difficult. We wanted to make it an equal playing field."

Glasgow Taxis, which is also one of this year's sponsors, launched a customised cab in celebration of the event, which displayed some of the country's famous landmarks.

Vice-chairman Stephen Flynn said: "We've been ­involved with the company which is hosting the entertainment awards for a few years now and last year we were involved with the Scottish Italian Awards.

"That was a great success so we're hoping this year's Entertainment Awards will be successful too.

"Everything is moving forward in Glasgow."

Last year, Glasgow-based venues scooped 14 out of the 19 gongs up for grabs, with eateries including Mother India, Celino's, La Lanterna and Cail Bruich all receiving awards.

Tickets for the variety show, including a limited number of VIP tickets, are available from www.ticket

How to vote:

Go online to: www.

The categories are:

Scotland's Takeaway of the Year

Scotland's Best Newcomer

Scotland's Best Asian Restaurant

Scotland's Best Restaurant

Scotland's Best Italian Restaurant

Scotland's Best Indian Restaurant

Scotland's Favourite Mediterranean

Scotland's Most Romantic Hotel

Scotland's Best Independant Hotel

Scotland's Best Bistro

Scotland's Favourite ­Community Pub

Scotland's Best Bar

Scotland's Best Visitor/Tourist Attraction

Scotland's Favourite ­Family Day Out

Scotland's Best Pub Grub

Scotland's Best Live Music Venue

Scotland's Best Family Restaurant

Scotland's Best In-House Marketing Team