There was an all-star cast of musical talent roped in to last night’s Coronation Concert – but it was 13-year-old blind pianist Lucy Illingworth who provided the most touching moment of the show.
The young musician, who recently won Channel 4’s The Piano and won over the nation with her performance in the middle of Leeds train station, was part of the huge celebrations at the royal event at Windsor Castle.
Also on the billing was Katy Perry, Take That, and Lionel Richie, all singing in front of the newly-crowned King Charles III and Queen Camilla, plus an audience of 10.1 million watching on the BBC from home.
William, the Prince of Wales, also took to the stage to pay tribute to his father and his late grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II.
For many of us though, Lucy’s stunning piano rendition of Bach’s Prelude in C was a clear highlight of the Coronation Concert.
The blind and neurodivergent teen’s performance has been labelled ‘amazing’, ‘wonderful’, and ‘phenomenal’ – as well as tear-jerking.
One person wrote: “Think I have something my eye,” after watching her stunning performance.
Someone else said: “Bawling again this time at lucy playing the piano like an absolute dream.”
Another said: “How fabulous was Lucy playing the piano, tears from me within seconds.”
Someone else said we need to see more diversity like this in performances, saying: “Don’t mind admitting I’m in absolute tears. Bog off Olly Murders and Gary Barlow. I want more sign language choirs, and more Lucy, to define the Carolean Era.”
Another person echoed that, writing: “Can’t get over Lucy’s talent. Favourite part of the #coronationconcert so far plus the massed voices of the Coronation Choir and Higher Love including the virtual commonwealth choirs. Not interested in the celebrities!!”
Charity The Amber Trust wrote: “We are incredibly proud of Lucy and everything she has achieved!
“Lucy is a phenomenal musician and we are thrilled that she has had this opportunity to share her talent with the nation. Well done Lucy!”
Lucy first shot to fame on Channel 4’s The Piano, where she delivered a spellbinding performance of Debussy’s Arabesque No.1 in the final.
Judge and pop star Mika spoke about her winning performance, “It was about just highlighting if something extraordinary was to happen. Something that no-one could forget… and that happened.”
Fellow judge and pianist Lang Lang, who was captivated by Lucy described the young pianist as a ‘real genius’.
In a heartfelt twist which further underlined how different the programme was to other reality TV shows, all contestants were gifted a piano to take home.
Jason Manford blasts theatre-goers after showing the ‘shocking’ state of litter on the Opera House floor
Comedian and performer Jason Manford has criticised theatre-goers for leaving the floor of one of Manchester’s most beloved venues covered in litter and in a “shocking” state following one of his recent performances.
Currently part of the ongoing Jack and the Beanstalk pantomime run, Manford shared a social media post revealing the amount of rubbish left on the floor of the Manchester Opera House following the cast’s show to the general public.
Opening the video by stating, “Look at the bloody tip people leave”, the Salford-born stand-up, singer, actor and presenter asked, “Why do people do this?”
Posting the short clip on Instagram along with the caption, “What’s your take on litter inside a theatre? Is it [the] audience or staff’s responsibility? What d’ya reckon?”, the video itself has comments turned off but has already sparked plenty of discussion online.
The 42-year-old went on to urge people attending the show, or any theatre production for that matter to clean up after themselves, noting that there was rubbish of some form on “every single row”.
Manford, who is starring as Jack, labelled the behaviour unbelievable and argued, “You wouldn’t treat you’re own home like that, would you?”
Citing that his days working front-of-house in cinemas might have coloured his opinion on the matter, he said it takes very little effort to simply pick up your refuse and find the nearest bin on the way out and the majority of people reacting online are in overwhelming agreement.
One commenter underneath his post on X said, “People’s responsibility. Why can’t people just do the right thing and take their litter home with them ?? Or use a bin nearby??”, while most agreed at the very least that aside from accidental spillages, it’s just “common courtesy”.
Another person went so far as to say: “People are disgusting. Personally, I’d ban food and drink in theatres and cinemas.
“It totally ruins the experience for me, listening to people chomping and slurping their way through the performance.”
Jason’s turn in Jack and The Beanstalk began on Thursday and is set to run until the end of the year — here’s hoping this public callout will mean the theatre staff have less mess to clean up going forward.
It isn’t Manford’s only big stage production here in Manchester city centre either, as the local legend is also hosting The Big Night of Musicals in 2024.
First images of new ITV drama starring Happy Valley’s James Norton released
The first images of a brand-new ITV drama series starring Happy Valley’s James Norton have just been released, and it already looks like a must-watch.
I think it’s fair to say that we all fell in love with James Norton when he depicted the evil villain of Tommy Lee Royce in Happy Valley over recent years, right? So, if like us, you’ve missed tuning in to watch an absolute masterclass in acting from the Yorkshire-born actor on Sunday evenings, then you’ll be chuffed to know he’s set to be back on our TV screens soon.
The 38-year-old has a starring role in a new ITV drama named ‘Playing Nice’.
The new psychological thriller – which is based on JP Delaney’s 2020 novel – follows two couples who devastatingly discover that their toddlers were switched at birth in a hospital mix-up, and we can already predict it will send shivers down our spine.
The two couples then face a horrifying dilemma of either keeping their sons that they raised, or reclaiming their biological kids, and while a solution is agreed upon, it soon becomes clear that there are hidden motives at play – with the couples unsure about how much they can trust each other.
Set in Cornwall, James Norton will play the role of Pete, and will star alongside Niamh Algar, James McArdle, and Jessica Brown Findlay.
Speaking on the new series ahead of it airing, Helen Perry – who is ITV’s Drama Commissioner – commented: “Playing Nice is an enthralling thriller with a knotty moral dilemma at its heart. Not only will viewers be hooked, they’ll be left questioning ‘What would I do?’. As Grace Ofori-Attah’s superb script raises questions about the nature of parenting and how far we’ll go for those we love.”
Writer Grace Ofori-Attah added: “It has been an absolute privilege to adapt JP Delaney’s gripping novel for the screen.
“I am thrilled to be working with Rabbit Track and Studiocanal, as well as our incredible cast and production team, and I’m also excited to be partnering with ITV again on my second drama series, and can’t wait for Playing Nice to hit TV screens next year.”
‘Playing Nice’ is set to air in 2024, and we’ll be binging it in no time.