Category Archives: Stars

Loose Women star Coleen Nolan denies feud rumours as co-stars rush to support her

LancsLive - Latest news, sport, business and more from Lancashire

Coleen took to Twitter to shut down the speculation and will address the reports on Monday’s Loose Women show


Coleen Nolan
Coleen Nolan

Coleen Nolan has strongly denied allegations of a feud between her and several of her Loose Women co-stars as they rush to support her.

The 56-year-old singer, who was born and raised in Blackpool, took to social media on Sunday night to issue a strong rebuttal to the rumours and said they will address the story in Monday’s show.

It comes after reports emerged on Sunday morning that the 56-year-old’s fellow panellists Nadia Sawalha, Carol McGiffin and Stacey Solomon all refused to appear on Loose Women at the same time as her.

Nadia was reported in the Daily Mail to be upset be due to past comments made by Coleen’s agent Melanie Blake, with claims that she branded Nadia a “nasty witch” in a Twitter post.

It also claimed Carol had had a fallout with Coleen and Stacey didn’t want to work with her once her maternity leave is over.

A source told the paper: “‘It’s a show that is supposed to promote strong women working together, respecting one another’s views, but it’s currently the case that what is going on behind the scenes is quite the opposite of that and much more dramatic.”

Coleen immediately hit back with a statement on social media saying “Nothing printed… today is true” and that she was seeking legal advice.

An ITV spokesperson also denied that a string of the popular ITV lunchtime show stars were ‘refusing’ to appear on the same panel as Coleen.

Coleen’s statement said: “Nothing printed in The Mail article today is true and I am taking legal advice about the slurs on me personally. We’ll also be addressing it on @loosewomen.

“Thanks for your support. Love Coleen xx”

Speaking to The Mirror, they said: “This story is untrue. Panellists are chosen for each show by the Loose Women Editor and senior production team, not the panellists themselves.”

Melanie also shut down talk of an ongoing feud as well, also taking to Twitter to write: “I personally have no bad relationships with any Loose Women past or present.

“I moved on & resolved this issue with Nadia a long time ago so that’s no longer relevant.

“Looking forward to seeing Coleen on Loose Woman later and putting all yesterdays ‘fake news’ to bed.”

Fellow Loose Women co-star Janet Street-Porter tweeted: ” I love working with Coleen Nolan and we’ve never had a single disagreement- sorry if that’s not ‘news’ xx.”

Brenda Edwards also tweeted “@NolanColeen it’s always a pleasure to hang with you at work @loosewomen and also out of work, you have always made me feel so welcome, and I appreciate the straight talking, fun friendship we have!! Keep smiling in the face of adversity my lovely.”

Coleen tweeted on Monday: “It will be discussed today on @loosewomen, 12:30pm on @ITV.”



William Regal Comments On WWE Departure

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The Longtime Wrestler And Administrator Was Let Go Wednesday


William Regal has commented on his release from WWE, taking to Twitter to express his gratitude for his two decade tenure with the organization.

Regal wrote, “Thank you to @WWE for a wonderful 21 year run. You gave a lad who was happy and in wonderland wrestling on a carnival have a charmed life for 21 years. No complaints and please no one waste time replying as I won’t have a bad work said against the company. I will add that @WWE saved my life in 1999 when they didn’t need to, kept my family fed and took me all around the world. You have my gratitude forever. You allowed me to live a charmed life.”

After a brief stint in 1998, Regal re-signed with WWE in 2000. A former Intercontinental, European, and Tag Team champion, Regal was perhaps more memorable as an on-screen administrator, whether he was commissioner of Raw in the Attitude Era, or the GM of NXT over these preceding years.

At the time of his release on Wednesday, Regal had been working as a scout for WWE developmental. Along with Regal, several other NXT principals were let go, including Road Dogg, Samoa Joe, and others.




William Regal: Blackpool wrestling favourite in shock WWE exit as Becky Lynch and Edge pay tribute

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Blackpool wrestling favourite William Regal has surprisingly left WWE.


Since retiring from the ring in 2013, the real life Darren Matthews, 53, has been credited with help bring through some of the US sports entertainment giant’s top up-and-coming superstars as part of their NXT show.

Regal had been an on-screen ‘General Manager’ for the brand for seven years, only stopping the role recently, while behind the scenes he was the WWE’s Director of Talent Development and Head of Global Recruiting.

His exit on Wednesday was met with shock in the wrestling community, given the success of his work in turning rough diamonds into some of the top stars in the industry.

Irish star Becky Lynch, a current women’s champion on the flagship Raw programme, tweeted: “Eternally grateful that Regal gave me a chance when I was nothing. I owe so much to him.”

Edge, another top superstar, said: “@RealKingRegal is a man I hold the utmost respect for. A dear friend who always, without fail, makes me smile, and what better gift? He also made me a better, tougher performer and pulled me out of my comfort zone and pushed me to new heights. He’s a real man(s) man.”

While born in Staffordshire, Regal is considered an honorary Blackpudlian.

He made his wrestling debut at Blackpool Pleasure Beach’s Horseshoe Show bar aged 15 before going on to achieve worldwide fame across the pond, being announced as hailing from the town.

William Regal's departure from WWE has been met with shock in the wrestling world

William Regal’s departure from WWE has been met with shock in the wrestling world

The ring technician brought the NXT show to Blackpool on more than one occasion and tweeted last month: “6 years ago today @WWENXT did a show at @WGBpl Winter Gardens, Blackpool. It was the greatest night of my 38 year career. The setting, atmosphere, incredible competitors and the indescribably fantastic fans were superb. Thank you all.”

In a 2020 interview with Metro on his love for Blackpool, he said: “‘Everything that is good in my life, has come from this town. And that means the start of my wrestling career at the Pleasure Beach, to meeting my wife when I was 17 – who I’m still with. My two eldest sons were born at Victoria Hospital here.

‘All the entertainers that I knew who lived or worked here, I used to study them. When I wasn’t wrestling, I was always at the circus or at a show watching all these people – “how do they make their stuff work for their audience?” That used to fascinate me as a child.”

Four-time European Champion, two-time Intercontinental champion and four-time World Tag Team champion Regal was one of several people cut from the NXT part of the WWE operation.

Regal working out with boxer-turned-wrestler RP Davies on a visit to Blackpool

Regal working out with boxer-turned-wrestler RP Davies on a visit to Blackpool

A statement read: “With the continued evolution of NXT 2.0, we’ve decided to part ways with some of the staff based in our Performance Centre. We thank them for their many contributions throughout the years and wish them the best.”



Andy Mitchell writes a heartfelt farewell to an old friend

Home | Blackpool Gazette

It’s been a heartbreaking start to 2022 following the announcement of the death of our dear friend and colleague Gary Burgess. You may remember Gary from his days on Radio Wave. He was a bundle of energy that tore right through the station from his early days as a station helper when he was still at 6th Form, right through to him being the Regional Programme boss!


Gary Burgess

Gary Burgess

For some of us, we were so lucky to call him our personal friend for three decades.

The impact Gary made on listeners, first of all locally here on the Fylde coast, and ultimately on TV across the Channel islands and even further afield can not be understated. This man was a force of nature, everyone’s favourite champion, who fought back illness for over 20 years.

He never stopped. I remember driving home from work one evening in 1999 listening to Gary on Radio Wave, telling us he’d been diagnosed with testicular cancer. His honest and candid appraisal of the situation live on air, at a time when things like that just weren’t discussed in public, I believe, was the turning point in getting blokes to be more open about the issue.

We worked together in the Newsroom for some years. I might have been the News Editor, but it was from Gary, I learnt so much. He had a forensic knowledge about local issues. He knew what councillors would say before he even asked them a question. It was a skill that would stay with him throughout his career.

Twenty years ago, I used to read the news on Border TV. Gary used to come up to the TV station with me in the evening and watch me do it. No pressure there then! “Love the camera” he used to say “Don’t just read the script” I never stopped taking direction from the lad who was seemingly never wrong!

“And another thing” he implored, only last week on a FaceTime call, live in in his dressing gown, “when you’re writing your columns for the Gazette, write from the heart” he said. “They know the facts…. it’s YOUR feelings they want to hear about”

Gary, I’ll miss you so much. Thirty years have flown by, and we had so much fun. RIP mate. And THAT’S from the heart.



Award-winning Nashville star Gretchen Peters coming to Lytham’s Lowther Pavilion

Home | Blackpool Gazette

A Grammy-nominated American singer songwriter is heading to the Lowther Pavilion in Lytham.


American star Gretchen Peters is coming to Lytham in March

American star Gretchen Peters is coming to Lytham in March

Country singer Gretchen Peters has announced details of a British tour and the schedule includes a date at the Lowther on the evening Tuesday March 29.

As well as writing songs for the likes of Bryan Adams, Etta James, Shania Twain, Neil Diamond and a host of other artists, she has recorded 13 studio and live albums on her own account.

Gretchen has been twice nominated for prestigious Grammy awards and won four country music awards for songs and albums.

2022 marks the 25th year since Gretchen first set foot on a UK stage.

And in honour of the occasion, the Nashville-via-New-York star will be heading back to these shores.

For the Lytham show, she will be backed by American musicians Barry Walsh and Kim Richey.

The 13 dates include a performance at the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall.


Blackpool Harry Potter actor David Thewlis on why he wasn’t in reunion special

LancsLive - Latest news, sport, business and more from Lancashire

The 58-year-old is known for playing Professor Lupin in the films in the episode


David Thewlis as Remus Lupin in Harry Potter.
David Thewlis as Remus Lupin in Harry Potter. (Image: Courtesy of Warner Bros. Enterta)

The Harry Potter 20th anniversary reunion special was released over the new year weekend warming the hearts of book and film fans.

But some fans were left wondering why Blackpool-born David Thewlis wasn’t in the special episode.

The 58-year-old is known for playing Professor Lupin in the films.

He did not return to appear alongside actors such as Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint.

READ MORE: BBC The Apprentice full list of candidates ahead of new series

But David took to social media to joke that he was ‘banned’ from appearing because of a backlash from fans over an Instagram post last year.

He wrote: “Well, last year, as some of you may recall, I foolishly posted what I thought was an amusing picture of a Lupin action figure to which I had attached some comically large feet.

“It seems I did this on a sensitive anniversary, upsetting many.

“This led to an enormous number of fans (and some cast members) taking to the streets in protest and signing a petition demanding that I be banned from any future Potter celebrations.

‘”In my defence, it was my wife’s idea.

“I did not realise the significance of the date, and following the advice of my legal team, the post has since been removed.

“I hope that has cleared things up.”

So, while there was no official explanation given for his absence, it looks like he’s taken the whole thing in good humour.



Gary Burgess: Record-breaking former Radio Wave journalist dies of cancer, aged 46

Home | Blackpool Gazette

A record-breaking former Radio Wave journalist has died of cancer at the age of 46, ITV have announced.


Gary Burgess set the world record for the longest radio show while at Radio Wave, staying on air for 76 hours and raising millions for charity.

The Manchester-born broadcaster began his career at the Fylde coast station in 1992, leaving nine years later having been a newsreader, breakfast show presenter and programme controller.

Burgess died on New Year’s Day at Jersey Hospice after inoperable tumours were found in his lungs.

Gary Burgess celebrates the end of his marathon Radio Wave broadcast

Gary Burgess celebrates the end of his marathon Radio Wave broadcast

In a final message, written for ITV to release after his death, the journalist wrote: “I’ve had the best life. I’ve had the luckiest life.

“I met my soul mate and the love of my life who went on to become my husband.

“I got to work with some of the most amazing people in newsrooms and studios doing the job I absolutely adore.

“I’ve been able to share my own relatively short time on this planet surrounded by friends and loved ones who have enriched my life in ways they may never truly understand.

“My greatest sadness is the prospect of leaving all of that and all of them behind.

“The thought of doing that to Alan is unfathomable to process, but I also know the very people who’ve shown me love and support will now wrap up those feelings around him in the coming days.

“It’s time for me to hand over my microphone and keyboard for others to do the talking about me, so let my final words simply be ‘thank you’.

“Every person in my life has, in their own way, helped me live my best life. That’ll do.”

He began working as a reporter at ITV Channel TV in May 2011 in the Guernsey newsroom, before moving to Jersey in March 2012.

In 2021, he was nominated as journalist of the year at the prestigious Royal Television Society Awards.

Burgess, who married his husband Alan in 2018, was the first to convert his civil partnership to a marriage. Their marriage certificate is number one on the conversion register.



Stay Close: What to expect from the new James Nesbitt Netflix drama filmed across Lancashire

LancsLive - Latest news, sport, business and more from Lancashire

Hollywood actor James Nesbitt has been spotted filming at various locations across the red rose county


Scenes from Netflix drama Stay Close were filmed in Blackpool
Scenes from Netflix drama Stay Close were filmed in Blackpool

A brand new Netflix drama has been released and it’s filmed right here in Lancashire.

Stay Close stars Hollywood actor James Nesbitt, with filming for the show – released today (December 31) – spotted taking place in Morecambe, Chorley and Blackpool earlier this year.

In Morecambe, members of the public reported seeing Nesbitt filming down the Promenade and on Skipton Street.

The filming crew was also seen on Blackpool Promenade on March 9 with crew pitched up outside a fictional bar called ‘Bar Mitzvah’.

In Chorley, filming was seen taking place over a couple of days on Dick Lane in Brinscall.

It is thought that filming also look place at other locations across the county – and the North West – for the show.

The series is based on Harlan Coben’s number one New York Times bestselling novel of the same name.

The eight-part crime drama sees Nesbitt playing a detective, Michael Broome, who is haunted by an unsolved case, and features famed US thriller writer Coben as an executive producer.

The series focuses on “four people who conceal dark secrets” from those close to them. RED Production Company, the same production company behind Channel 4’s ‘It’s a Sin’, has been commissioned by Netflix to create the show.

The series has a star-studded cast that has three leads; James Nesbitt, Richard Armitage and Cush Jumbo.

Filming for Stay Close in Blackpool
Filming for Stay Close in Blackpool (Image: Ian Fairbrother)

The team behind the smash hit Netflix show ‘The Stranger’ and 2018’s ‘Safe’ have joined together to collaborate on this which is their fourth drama.

Filming for major TV shows is much more common in Lancashire today than it once was. In addition to the Stay Close filming, 2021 has seen Star Wars filming in Cleveleys, The Bay filming in Morecambe, Brassic in Bacup and Peaky Blinders over in Rossendale.

James Nesbitt has said doing the Netflix original series was “an opportunity to open a different door again”.

Nesbitt said: “I know I’ve played a lot of policemen, recently that’s all I seem to do is play a policeman. Obviously people recognise the good in me, or the screw-up in me, but this character was optimistic.

“I’ve played a lot of extreme characters in the last while, and I just thought, there was someone who is one of the good guys in a way, but yet with a complicated internal kind of process going on his life and in his mind. So I loved that.

“Everything I thought about this job, the boxes that you hope to be able to tick, it turns out that it was very easy early on to be able to tick. Also, I’ve never done a Netflix original series. I haven’t done anything like that before, and so just the scale of that, it was an opportunity to open a different door again, when so many doors have been closed.”



The Nolans celebrate Christmas in style with huge group at Lytham Hall

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The Nolan Family celebrated their Christmas in style – here in Lancashire


The Nolans, minus Denise, spent their Christmas at Lytham Hall
The Nolans, minus Denise, spent their Christmas at Lytham Hall (Image: TheNolans)

A group of 32 that included Linda, Anne, Maureen and Coleen Nolan spent their Christmas in style at Lytham Hall for dinner.

The Nolans famously formed in Blackpool and achieved massive international success in a career spanning several decades that is continuing to this day.

The meal, organised by Linda Nolan, was reportedly ‘absolutely beautiful’.

Denise Nolan, who was in Los Angeles with her partner, was the notable absence from Christmas dinner with the Nolan family.

Linda Nolan said: “Massive thank you to the incredible team at Lytham Hall for hosting 32 of us for Christmas dinner yesterday. The room, the food and the hospitality was absolutely beautiful!

“Thank you Linda Nolan for organising everything.”

Lytham Hall is a beautiful Grade I listed building located around one mile from the centre of the town of Lytham.



Loose Women star Coleen Nolan jokes she’ll be single at Christmas after dressing up as turkey

LancsLive - Latest news, sport, business and more from Lancashire

The former Celebrity Big Brother winner donned one of her most bizarre Christmas outfits yet


Loose Women panellist Coleen Nolan is worried she’ll end up single this Christmas after dressing up as a turkey.

The Blackpool star donned the hilarious costume for the ITV show’s festive special on Christmas Eve.

LancsLive recently reported how the 56-year-old singer and author has found love again on Tinder after the end of her marriage to ex-husband Ray Fensome.

However The Nolans group member joked the romance could quickly be over as she dressed up in the festive outfit today.

Coleen is no stranger to donning unusual outfits to commemorate Christmas each year.

But for this year’s festive special she was given one of her most bizarre outfits yet.

Coleen said: “I mean, it’s not even funny now Ruth. And quite frankly I’m probably going to be single by tomorrow so thank you.”

Loose Women co-star Brenda Edwards added: “You look turkeylicious!

Coleen Nolan has also revealed that she leaves her family infuriated year after a year with an annoying Christmas habit.

The Celebrity Big Brother winner was happy to admit that she behaves “like a five year old” at Christmas, much to the annoyance of her now grown up children.

As well as always having to look out of the window on Christmas Eve to see if she can spot Santa’s sleigh, Coleen confessed that she still gets up at the crack of dawn, before running through the house and getting everyone up with shouts of “he’s been!”

She told the rest of the panel: “My 33-year-old son absolutely loves that, he’s like ‘Mum, I’m 33!’ especially after I’ve made him go to bed at 9pm on Christmas Eve in time for Santa!”




‘Snow White and the Six Dwarfs’ currently showing at Grand Theatre as ‘Grouchy’ mysteriously drops out of panto performance

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Audiences at the Grand Theatre were given a slightly altered performance of the age-old fairytale as only six dwarfs appeared onstage with the fairest of them all.


‘Grouchy’ was missing from the cast of yesterday’s (December 19) performance, starring Britain’s Got Talent finalist Steve Royle as Muddles, Ellie Green as Snow White and Chris Warner-Drake as Prince Frederick. Theatre-goers was told the actor could not be there.

When asked by The Gazette why he was missing from the show, a spokesman from Blackpool Grand Theatre and UK Productions saidf: “We can currently confirm one of the seven dwarfs is not performing. We hope to return to seven very soon.”

Grouchy was missing from last night's performance - but the theatre won't say why

Grouchy was missing from last night’s performance – but the theatre won’t say why

They refused to elaborate.



Strictly fans hail best partnership in show’s history as they predict Glitterball winner

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Rose Ayling-Ellis and Giovanni Pernice have been winning viewers over every week


It was the semi-final of Strictly Come Dancing 2021 (Image: BBC)

Strictly Come Dancing fans were quick to hail one partnership the best in the show’s HISTORY following tonight’s show.

Rose Ayling-Ellis and Giovanni Pernice have been winning viewers over every week during the time in the BBC One dance contest.

But Saturday night was a return to perfect form for the pair as they received their first 40 since the Halloween special in October.

During the semi-final, EastEnders actress Rose and Giovanni were the last couple to perform a first routine, dancing a waltz to How Long Will I Love You by Ellie Goulding.

Dancer turned judge Anton Du Beke became emotional as he gave them feedback and said: “You’re amazing”, while Craig Revel Horwood said it was “one of the most amazing waltzes I have seen”.

The performance earned them a score of 39 with Craig failing to give them a coveted 10.

But when they returned to close the semi-final they danced an Argentine tango to A Evaristo Carriego by Eduardo Rovira.

Rose and Giovanni during their waltz (Image: PA)

Craig added: “That dance belongs in the final,” before the couple scored a perfect 40.

Speaking to host Claudia Winkleman before the scores were announced, Rose said the dance was “very out of my character” and was nothing “I’ve ever done before so I finally started to believe in myself”.

Strictly fans then flocked to social media to have their say.

“Think @pernicegiovann1 has the Glitterball in his sights. The partnership with Rose I think is the best in the show’s history #Strictly,” @DPatz13 tweeted.

The pair got a perfect score

@kirstinw85 said: “Oh. My. Goodness. Rose & Gio! That. Was. PERFECTION. #bbcstrictly #Strictly.”

“Please give Rose the glitterball now #Strictly,” @MargedsPalace begged.

@lisablankstone added: “All contestants tonight were absolutely FABULOUS but Rose & Gio are my favourite dance partnership in Strictly history. #Strictly.


Linda Nolan teases Nolans Christmas album in intriguing tweet

LancsLive - Latest news, sport, business and more from Lancashire

Could a Christmas album be on the cards for the Nolan sisters?


Linda Nolan has teased a Nolans Christmas album on Twitter
Linda Nolan has teased a Nolans Christmas album on Twitter (Image: ITV)

A new Christmas album could be hitting the shelves as one of the Nolan sisters took to Twitter to tease fans.

Linda Nolan posted an intriguing Tweet that left fans wanting to know more.

In the Tweet, Linda teased that making a Christmas album was something the family had always wanted to do and asked fans what they would like to hear.

Since then, she’s been inundanted with replies from people about what festive tunes they’d like to hear the sisters sing.

The Tweet, which was a reply to a fan, reads: “A Nolans Christmas album? Funnily enough, a Christmas album is the one album we’ve always wanted to do – but never had the chance! Would you guys want one? What songs would you want us to do?”

Suggestions include, one from Tony Hawes which says: “If you recorded a Christmas album it would be great if you could include a new original song. You have definitely got the talent to do it. Have a good Christmas girls.”

Another from Di Price suggested: “Linda, you have to sing I’m dreaming of a white Christmas. All the girls have to sing Stay another day by east 17. Got to make this happen for 2022.”

Liane Hawes said: “Ooh yes please that would be awesome. A Nolans version of Boney M’s Mary’s Boy Child would be great. Happy Christmas.”

John Hastings had a few suggestions for the sisters. He said: “I still find it astonishing that you & the girls never got the opportunity to record a Christmas album. I would welcome one for next year & the songs I propose are:- I Believe In Father Christmas (Greg Lake) Marshmallow World (Darlene Love) That Silent Night (Jim Brickman).”



Loose Women’s Coleen Nolan shares Christmas plans with ex-husband and new boyfriend

LancsLive - Latest news, sport, business and more from Lancashire

“He’s met all the kids and family, and Ray – and everyone gets on”


Coleen Nolan has shared her Christmas plans with fans
Coleen Nolan has shared her Christmas plans with fans

Coleen Nolan is planning to spend Christmas Day with both her ex-husband and new Tinder boyfriend.

The Loose Women star, from Blackpool, has shared her festive plans with fans after yesterday speaking about second husband Ray Fensome’s savage response to hearing about her new beau.

Ex-pop singer and TV personality Coleen has been dating her new mystery man for five months after meeting online and has so far failed to make his identity known to the public.


The 56-year-old was previously married to Ray between 2007 and 2018 and they share 20-year-old daughter Ciara together.

Speaking about her new boyfriend in an interview with Women’s Owen, Coleen said: “”He’s lovely, and he’s going to be spending Christmas with us.

“He’s met all the kids and family, and Ray – and everyone gets on.

“I can’t tell you his name – because it’s early days, and I just want to keep it to myself for now.”

Coleen revealed how Ciara was “the glue that held us together” and they both realise that now and it was actually their daughter that helped them to see they needed to split.

She explained: “She said to me, ‘Mum – I love you and I love Dad, but don’t stay together because of me. And I can’t stand both of you slagging each other off.”

The former member os girl group The Nolans was also previously married to former Eastenders actor Shane Richie with whom she has two sons, Shane Nolan, 32, and Jake Roche, 29.



Bobby Ball tribute show in Blackpool could be held annually

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A variety show in Bobby Ball’s memory in Blackpool could become an annual event.


Bobby’s widow Yvonne says the idea is certainly being looked into after the overwhelming success of the Rock On -The Variety Show event at the Opera House on Friday.

The show, which featured Bobby’s long-time comedy partner Tommy Cannon among a host of star names, and the Bobby Ball dance event which followed in the Empress Ballroom 24 hours later, raised a total of around £150,000 for the Bobby Ball Foundation set up by Yvonne to support local charities which were close to Bobby’s heart.

The proceeds will be split between the Blue Skies appeal at Blackpool Victoria Hospital and the Love Lowther fund at Lytham’s Lowther Pavilion, where Bobby was a patron, as well as providing enough to ensure the statue in Bobby’s memory intended for Lowther Gardens will be unveiled next summer.

Tommy Cannon on the Blackpool Opera House stage with Bobby Ball's sons Robert and Darren at Rock On -The Variety Show.

Tommy Cannon on the Blackpool Opera House stage with Bobby Ball’s sons Robert and Darren at Rock On -The Variety Show.

Review: Bobby Ball Rock On Variety Show in Blackpool – ‘Songs, tears and lots of…

“I’m just so grateful to everyone for their support,” said Yvonne.

“It was an incredible weekend at the Winter Gardens – everything I wanted it to be and much, much more.

“There was so much love for Bobby – among the performers, the audience, everyone. It was marvellous.

Yvonne Ball

Yvonne Ball

“It’s wonderful to raise so much money for such good causes and we are looking at keeping it going with a show in his name becoming a regular event.

“We have this wonderful venue – why not?

“We want to help other good causes too and are looking at hopefully raising money at future events for mental health charities to help young people.

“That’s a really important cause and I think the need to support it is there more than ever after lockdown.”

Bobby Ball

Bobby Ball

Blackpool’s Christine McGuinness on her tragic childhood blighted by rape and alcohol

LancsLive - Latest news, sport, business and more from Lancashire

Christine McGuinness was born in Blackpool before enduring a childhood most could not even imagine


Paddy McGuinness and Christine McGuinness
Paddy McGuinness and Christine McGuinness (Image: WireImage)

Blackpool’s Christine McGuinness has revealed the tragic circumstances she had to endure in her childhood including sex abuse, rape, bullying, poverty and anorexia.

Christine started her life in the Lancashire seaside resort before moving to Halewood where she spent years on a council estate.

Now, the mum of three has opened up to The Mirror for the first time about years of pain and how she has haunting visions of her traumatic past.

Christine, 33, is a well known reality TV star whose husband is Top Gear and Question of Sport host, Paddy.

Until now, only those closest to her were aware of her tragic upbringing.

In exclusive extracts from her book A Beautiful Nightmare, she reveals she was raped by a schoolboy when she was 13-years-old.

She also says a family friend abused her between the ages of nine and 13, while also making her watch explicit videos and footage of murders.

Christine developed anorexia at the age of eight and spent secondary school without eating a proper meal. Then, in her teenage years, she turned to drink where booze became a crutch to lean on to cope with bullying by girls at school.

Poverty was such an issue for her family that she resorted to shoplifting school shoes.

Yet now, despite everything, she now enjoys life with Paddy and their kids and says: “Nothing could knock me back down.”

Christine, who was a dancer and model before appearing on TV’s Real Housewives of Cheshire, says: “I’m a mum to three children I adore, I’m in a happy marriage, my career is reaching new heights and I feel more capable than I have ever done.

With mum, brother and sister, right
With mum, brother and sister, right (Image: Claire Brown Marketing & Communications Manager

“I’m proud to be Patrick’s wife. But I am Christine and want people to know about my life – before and after I took my husband’s name.”

Christine’s mum Joanne was a cleaner and dad Johnny was an engineer. They had Christine and Billie-Jo, a year older.

They split up and Joanne later had Christine’s half-brother Jamie. She writes: “Times were hard and mum was juggling cleaning jobs just to be able to afford to have the heating on and put food on the table. Coming up to Christmases and birthdays, she’d be exhausting herself working so that she could buy presents.

“I attempted to take a pair of shoes from Asda. My school shoes had holes in and I was bullied about it. Much to my horror, I got caught and the police took me in a back room… They called my mum in.

“The shop assistant spotted my battered loafers. I wailed to this complete stranger, ‘I’m getting bullied and I’ve got holes in my shoes’. My mum said, ‘I can’t afford new ones for her’. Seeing how little we had, they let me keep them. My childhood was a difficult one – no two ways about it.

“I had anorexia for years and if I’m honest, it still can be a problem now, but I’m getting better. I don’t think it’s something you ever fully get over. I always felt like I didn’t fit in. The dining hall was a social experience I couldn’t deal with. Queuing for food used to give me major anxiety. I didn’t know where to sit or who to sit with.”

Christine McGuinness nine months pregnant with daughter Felicity
Christine McGuinness nine months pregnant with daughter Felicity (Image: Claire Brown Marketing & Communications Manager

Christine says Paddy has helped her eat more normally. They met when she was 19 and on a modelling job. She admits she was scared about moving in with him as he would see how little she ate. But Paddy gently stepped in to try change her eating habits after they struggled to conceive.

Christine, now mum to twins Penelope and Leo, eight, and Felicity, five, was diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome, which affected her fertility. To get pregnant, she needed to gain weight to restart her periods.

You can read the full story with Christine here.

  • Pre-order Christine McGuinness: A Beautiful Nightmare (RRP £20, out Nov 25) and save £5 with the offer code XA9. Order online at


Bobby Ball Rock On Variety Show – a chance to say goodbye, Tommy Cannon, Jason Manford, Sheridan Smith, Sally Lindsay, Russell Watson all share their memories as they celebrate life of the showbiz legend at Blackpool Winter Gardens

Home | Blackpool Gazette

This is the touching moment Tommy Cannon closed the show on a momentous night of comedy, music and magic in celebration of his stage partner for more than half a century – Bobby Ball.


Tommy Cannon closes the inaugural Bobby Ball Rock On Variety Show with a poignant tribute

Tommy Cannon closes the inaugural Bobby Ball Rock On Variety Show with a poignant tribute

With Bobby’s trademark braces and shoes tenderly placed on a chair centre stage of the Opera House in Blackpool – a theatre the pair as Cannon and Ball sold out many a time in their career – veteran entertainer Tommy paid a final goodbye.

A 3,000 strong audience rose to their feet in love and appreciation of the’ phenomenal’ talent Bobby brought to generations in his 58 years of showbusiness.

Tommy, 83, said: “I know he’s here now and he’s probably saying come on just get on with it.

“The lovely is for me, in 1984 Bob and I came to this theatre and sold it out, two times a night, 6,400 people for 25 weeks – that still holds the record even today.

“So to come back here oh how I wish Bobby had been with me – God Bless Him – so it’s been fantastic.”

Bobby’s wife Yvonne, daughter Joanne and sons Rob and Darren (The Harper brothers) – who performed on the night – said they had been blown away by the response for the evening and with to the chance to share their love for Bobby with all those who adored him.

Jason Manford with Bobby Ball's family on stage at the Winter Gardens Opera House Blackpool, Bobby's daughter Joanne, his sons Rob and Darren and his wife Yvonne

Jason Manford with Bobby Ball’s family on stage at the Winter Gardens Opera House Blackpool, Bobby’s daughter Joanne, his sons Rob and Darren and his wife Yvonne

Yvonne, praised all those involved with The Bobby Ball Foundation and the night’s organisers Cuffe and Taylor, she added: “The whole night has just completed exceeded all my expectations.

Rob added: “Dad, I can see him, will be there licking his ‘tache right now – he’d have loved this, he really would. He just had this warmth but his was actually just his love for people and making them smile.”

Comedian Jason Manford said it had been a night full of variety ‘full of fun’ he added: “It would have been perfect for this fella.”

Sheridan Smith performs at the Rock On Variety Show in memory of Bobby Ball at Blackpool Opera House Pictures Dave and Darren Nelson

Sheridan Smith performs at the Rock On Variety Show in memory of Bobby Ball at Blackpool Opera House Pictures Dave and Darren Nelson

Singer and actress Sheridan Smith, 40, who performed on the evening, sharing the stage with Tommy said: “Bobby and Tommy were my dad’s favourite act and I grew up with them and then had the honour of meeting them and it just got me so emotional tonight when Tommy came on stage.

“Bobby was just the most amazing man and human being, kind and funny and to do a little something for him was a huge honour in the home of variety Blackpool.”



Review: Bobby Ball Rock On Variety Show in Blackpool – ‘Songs, tears and lots of laughter’ as sell-out crowd and showbiz stars celebrate the life of the late, great Bobby Ball

Home | Blackpool Gazette

‘You’ll do for me, cocker!’


Sometimes in life, you are lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time and be part of something very special and Rock On: The Variety Show was just that moment.

For the 3,000 people who packed out The Opera House, Blackpool, on Friday night it was a night they will never forget as stars and friends of the late, great, Bobby Ball gathered together to mark his life in song, in comedy and with love.

Staged to raise money for the Bobby Ball foundation one year after the man himself died, the night was a rollercoaster of tears and laughter from start to finish as he was remembered for the prodigious talent and genuinely nice man he was.

There was certainly no lifetime where we would have foreseen Steve Norman from Spandau Ballet rocking a stage with comedian Jason Manford on vocals alongside Heather (Cheryl Fergison) from Eastenders after a spot of audience participation with Russell Watson and show tunes from Sheridan Smith – but it happened due to the uniting force of Bobby’s personality and legacy.

Produced and directed by Peter Taylor of Cuffe and Taylor, this was no ordinary variety show, with a clearly emotional Tommy Cannon and Bobby’s wife Yvonne and two sons and daughter present, it was a chance to share the remarkable story of Cannon and Ball who met as welders and tried their chance as an act in the working men’s clubs of the north. 15 years later, as Tommy recounted, they experienced ‘overnight’ success and the rest is legend.

In a tear-jerking segment, actress Sally Lindsay (who starred with Bobby on Mount Pleasant as his TV daughter) interviewed Tommy on stage, recollecting the highs, low and comedy moments of the comedy duo’s enduring friendship and double act. A highlight reel of Bobby’s bloopers on the TV show, was also shown for the first time and actress Sherrie Hewson also talked of lifelong friend ‘Bobs’, and how proud she was to take part in the variety show.

Jason Manford said: "Great night catching up with old friends and giving Bobby Ball the best send off possible! There was so magic in Blackpool tonight. What an honour." Pic credit - Dave and Darren Nelson

Jason Manford said: “Great night catching up with old friends and giving Bobby Ball the best send off possible! There was so magic in Blackpool tonight. What an honour.” Pic credit – Dave and Darren Nelson

The familiar names (too many to mention all) kept coming – glued together by stellar performances from the Heart of England Philharmonic Orchestra, the NHS NW ambulance choir and some energetic dancers.

Jason Manford deserves a special word in all this; he stunned the audience to silence with his singing voice, gave several comedy open-mic style performances and was even – as he explained with half a day’s notice – pulled in to sing True and Gold alongside Steve Norman, becoming Tony Hadley for the night.

And comedian Phil Walker, a Blackpool lad and good friends with Bobby, had everyone almost crying with laughter with his oh so-close to the knuckle performance.

Bobby's wife Yvonne takes to the stage at Blackpool Opera House last night (Friday, November 12). Pic credit - Dave and Darren Nelson

Bobby’s wife Yvonne takes to the stage at Blackpool Opera House last night (Friday, November 12). Pic credit – Dave and Darren Nelson

Sheridan Smith brought her warmth, force of personality and remarkable vocals while Britain’s ‘third best person’ as he put it, the super-talented Steve Royle, had everyone crying with laughter with antics involving a mask, ‘Manky Monkey’ and an unfortunate sound man fixing his mic.

The Harper Brothers, Bobby’s entertainer sons Rob and Darren, brought a personal touch with their joyful performances, proving the apple doesn’t fall far from the physical-comedy tree.

The show ended with Tommy and an empty chair, for his pal Bobby, and there was not a dry eye in the house.

Sheridan Smith was among the showbiz stars taking part in a very special evening of entertainment to raise vital funds for the Bobby Ball Foundation. Pic credit - Dave and Darren Nelson

Sheridan Smith was among the showbiz stars taking part in a very special evening of entertainment to raise vital funds for the Bobby Ball Foundation. Pic credit – Dave and Darren Nelson

As Tommy told Sally Lindsay on stage: “He’s here right now, sitting between us.”

He certainly was.

*The Bobby Ball Foundation raises money toward Bobby’s charitable patronages the Blue Skies Hospital Fund (Blackpool Teaching Hospitals) and The Lowther Pavilion plus the Bobby Ball statue fund. All the artists donated their time and talent for the charity.

Sherrie Hewson spoke of her long friendship with Bobby Ball and how proud she was to take part in the variety show in his honour in Blackpool last night (Friday, November 12). Pic credit - Dave and Darren Nelson

Sherrie Hewson spoke of her long friendship with Bobby Ball and how proud she was to take part in the variety show in his honour in Blackpool last night (Friday, November 12). Pic credit – Dave and Darren Nelson

Bobby Ball Rock On Variety Show – take a look at pictures as stars take to Blackpool Opera House stage Tommy Cannon, Sheridan Smith, Sherrie Hewson in honour of ‘Mr Showbiz’ Bobby Ball at the inaugural event for the Bobby Ball Foundation

Home | Blackpool Gazette

A sell-out audience packed out Blackpool Opera House for the inaugural Bobby Ball Rock On Variety show in honour of the entertainment legend.


Sheridan Smith performs at Blackpool Opera House.
Pictures Dave and Darren Nelson
Sheridan Smith performs at Blackpool Opera House. Pictures Dave and Darren Nelson


Bobby’s wife Yvonne and his children Joanne, Rob, Darren and family joined a host of showbiz stars from Jason Manford, Russell Watson and Sheridan Smith for a very special evening of entertainment, raising vital funds for the Bobby Ball Foundation.

The comic, actor, singer and television host, who was adored by millions for his Cannon and Ball Show alongside his lifelong friend Tommy Cannon, died on October 28 2020, aged 76.

Here are some of the highlights so far from the variety event live at Blackpool Opera House.

All pictures Dave and Darren Nelson



5. Bobby Ball Rock On Variety Show, Blackpool Opera House

Bobby Ball Rock On Variety Show Tommy Cannon shares emotional tribute to best friend ‘Mr Showbiz’ Bobby Ball at the inaugural event where stars Russell Watson, Sheridan Smith and Jason Manford will take to the stage

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Stars of British entertainment from film, stage and television, Tommy Cannon, Russell Watson, Jason Manford, Sheridan Smith have descended on Blackpool Opera House for a night of classic entertainment to celebrate the life and legacy of legend entertainer Bobby Ball.


Pictures Dave and Darren Nelson Tommy Cannon takes to the stage at Blackpool Opera House for inaugural Bobby Ball Rock On Variety Show

Pictures Dave and Darren Nelson Tommy Cannon takes to the stage at Blackpool Opera House for inaugural Bobby Ball Rock On Variety Show

Bobby’s sons Rob and Darren, who perform together as The Harper Brothers will also take to the iconic stage later this evening for the inaugural variety show in aid of the Bobby Ball Foundation

Walking on stage to tremendous applause, Bobby’s best friend Tommy Cannon – who rocketed to the heights of fame with their double-act following their appearance on Opportunity Knocks in 1969 – said it had been painful not to have given him his pal a final goodbye.

“Of course I’d like him to be by my side tonight. It’s nerve-wracking to be here in Blackpool Opera House without him.

“Bobby was a barrel of laughs. He’d do anything for anybody. We’d been together for 57, nearly 58 years and sometimes we’d get to the stage of saying ‘Shall we retire?’ but Bobby would never have retired.’