Coronation Street stars have been among those paying tribute to theatre legend David Johnson.
David founded the Oldham Theatre Workshop, which has launched the careers of some of the best-known stars of TV and film.
His fellow tutor Jakki confirmed the news with a Tweet that read: “Sorry for the delay in posting but it’s all very overwhelming.
“Yesterday we lost our founder, figurehead but most of all our friend David. We’re heartbroken. I will endeavour to reply to everyone’s kind messages as soon as I can.”
Stars including Antony Cotton and Kelvin Fletcher have all rushed to pay touching tributes to the influential figure, describing him as a ‘hero’ and ‘the best’.
Antony Cotton said: “Just heard the saddest news. David Johnson who was the director of the phenomena that was Oldham Theatre Workshop, has died.
“He put so many of us on the map, and kick started so many careers, both on stage and off. So many of us owe him so much. I’m absolutely gutted.
“He formed my childhood so profoundly, and in turn – my adult life too. Those years were the best years of my life. Rest in Power David. You were the best.”
Emmerdale star Kelvin Fletcher wrote: “Singlehandedly the biggest influence on my career and arguably, the reason behind my career. I know I speak for so many. Thank you David Johnson. What a legacy.”
Lisa Riley added: “For all of us whom were taught by David Johnson….today is a very sad day, I know I speak for many of my fellow actors in the industry, we wouldn’t be where we are today without this LEGEND of a man. I owe so much to you David…..you know how much I loved you…
“Heaven is lit today as it welcomes a creative master, who will be missed by us ALL!!! Oldham Theatre Workshop the north’s PROUDEST school.”
Alison King, who plays Carla Connor in the soap, said: “R.I.P my absolute hero! My maker of all things that I am, and where I am today, my teacher, of who I was 27 years ago, years that taught me things about myself I never knew, but have carried with me to this date.
“You were strict and yet the kindest man to me I have ever known. You were intuitive, and insightful, and gave me and so many others I’ve loved and adored working with over the years, the opportunity to shine. You gave me my best friend Emma.
“If it wasn’t for you I would never have had my beautiful daughter Daisy who is filled with love for the arts, a response of your teachings. And so many of us.
“David Johnson. From the day you started a term, with a good haircut and new shiny leather shoes, until the end of term, when they’d be curled up And your hair in a beautiful bouffant!!! Bigger than we all could cope with on a Monday morning.
“You were the sharpest, most aware human being of others creatively, and how to teach them to show it, I have ever known. Thank you so much.”
Joseph Houston, of Hope Mill Theatre, said: “So sad to hear about the passing of David Johnson. Many of us know the incredible work he did for young people across the region. His support for myself & @WilliamWhelton & @hopemilltheatr1 from the start was amazing & we love having @DJohnsonDrama part of our story. RIP david!”
Julie Hesmonhalgh said: “Sending love and condolences to all the Oldham Theatre Workshop gang who owe so much to the inimitable David Johnson. That talent for teaching: a rare and beautiful thing. He must have been so proud of you all xxx”
Featured image: Twitter
TV & Showbiz
Question Time audience stunned as first-time buyer says mortgage quote DOUBLED
Thursday night’s Question Time audience could be heard audibly gasping after a fellow crowd member revealed that her mortgage quote had doubled followed the recent mini-budget.
Taping in Manchester on 29 September, the current events and politics programme was discussing property when would-be first-time buyer Rabia revealed that her mortgage offer had jumped from an initial amount of 4.5% interest to a shocking 10.5% in just a matter of days.
As you can see in the incredible clip, both the audience and the panel are taken aback at the revelation.
The Greater Manchester resident said she is desperate to know what the government’s plan for mortgages is as following the latest revision, she says she simply cannot afford to put the money down on her first home.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer weighed in on the social media reaction, quote tweeting the clip from his party’s own account and stating that “the Tories must get back to Parliament and reverse their kamikaze budget” as the current economic mess is being “paid for by working people”.
To make matters worse, Rabia was given no clarification from her lenders, only that they were pulling her offers. Conservative MP and Minister for Local Government, Faith and Communities, Paul Scully had little information to offer her either, simply stating it is a short-term effect and that the market will stabilise.
Scully was subject to an entirely different reaction from the audience as well after his blind attempts to defend Prime Minister Liz Truss and Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng were met with laughter. Conversely, Richard Bacon was met with applause after he labelled the mini-budget “absurd”.
As if the anti-Tory sentiment wasn’t already at a high, the chancellor’s mini-budget – which saw the corporations, bankers and the generally wealthy benefit ahead of the working class – has seen fresh calls for a general election to be held as soon as possible.
Beyond declaring a so-called £2,500 limit on energy bills (which many have warned isn’t a guaranteed cap), there was seemingly very little in the way of policy that
For those still unclear as to what was announced in the divisive mini-budget, here is a quick summary:
Speaking in a speech at the Labour conference in Liverpool on Tuesday, Starmer said that the government “haven’t just failed to fix the roof, they’ve ripped out the foundations, smashed the windows and now they’ve blown the doors off for good measure.
If the 15-strong lineup of contestants, as reported by The Mirror and The Sun, are to be believed, then Happy Mondays star Shaun Ryder, Coronation Street fan favourites Andrew Whyment and Helen Flanagan, and boxing champion Amir Khan are the four local names preparing to represent our region as they head back into the jungle for the upcoming reality competition show.
Fans of the show will remember that the Salford-born Happy Mondays frontman Shaun Ryder graced our television screens on the 10th series of I’m A Celebrity back in 2010, and got himself all the way to the final before falling at the last hurdle and coming runner up to Stacey Soloman.
Coronation Street and Bury‘s very-own Helen Flanagan was also a fan favourite when she appeared on the show back in 2012.
Another famous Manc name who made it all the way to the final but couldn’t quite clinch the coveted title of ‘King of The Jungle’ is Andy Whyment – who is beloved by soap fans for portraying the character Kirk Sutherland on Coronation Street.
Bolton-born world champion boxer Amir Khan is also on the rumoured all star lineup, after he appeared on the 17th series of the show back in 2017.
When it comes to some of the other famous names on the all star lineup, Phil Tuffnell, Gillian McKeith, Paul Burrell, Jordan Banjo, Dean Gaffney, Carol Vorderman, Georgia Toffolo, Fatima Whitbread, and Janice Dickinson have all reportedly signed on to compete in the new series.
Mylene Klass, and Joe Swash are the final two to round-out the rumoured lineup.
The release of the star-studded reported lineup comes after presenters Ant and Dec recently revealed that they were filming the iconic ITV spin-off series in South Africa.
Speaking ahead of the all stars series airing, a source close to the show told The Sun: “It’s a different format to Australia, who knows when and where celebrities will enter camp, literally anything could happen.
“It’s not clear how many will start in camp or how many will be there by the end when one is crowned King or Queen of the jungle, possibly for a second time.
“It’s the best of I’m A Celebrity, quite literally.
“But there’s some twists and surprises along the way for viewers and campers so it’s not going to be as straightforward as they might think.”