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
Molly-Mae Hague has welcomed her first baby… according to boxer Jake Paul
Jake Paul appears to have spilled the beans on Molly-Mae Hague, announcing that she has given birth to her first baby with his rival Tommy Fury.
Super influencer Molly-Mae, 23, has maintained radio silence on Instagram for the last week, leading to many fans speculating that she has welcomed her baby girl and is taking some privacy out of the public eye.
Many assumed that she would bide her time for a huge announcement video, as she did with her pregnancy announcement back in September.
But it appears that Jake Paul has jumped the gone and made the announcement for the young couple, who met on the fifth series of Love Island.
YouTuber-turned-boxer Jake posted on Twitter today, alongside a poster promoting his upcoming fight with Tommy: “Tommy has no excuses now…Baby’s born. Money’s massive. Immigration no issue.
“Tyson promises he & Papa will make Tommy retire from boxing & change his last name if he can’t beat the YouTuber.
“Tmw I’m coming to London to look at all 3 Fury’s in the eye & shake on that promise.”
Of course, the internet has completely lost its mind that Molly-Mae’s undoubtedly tasteful baby announcement has been usurped in this way.
One person posted on Twitter: “Jake Paul announcing Molly Mae’s birth before Molly Mae or Tommy is the biggest sh*thousery I’ve seen this year.”
Another wrote: “ermmm did Jake Paul just let slip that Molly Mae’s given birth before she announced it or??”
Someone else commented: “Not Jake Paul announcing molly mae having her baby before molly mae what a prick.”
Molly-Mae and Tommy Fury have not yet addressed the message from Jake Paul.
Featured image: Instagram, @mollymae
TV & Showbiz
Tim Healy surprises fans with performance at The 1975’s Newcastle gig
The 1975’s tour has seen some seriously memorable moments so far, including several special guest appearances, but seeing Tim Healy give a surprise performance has to be the jewel in the crown.
While the band might have formed in the Wilmslow and plied their trade in Manchester on their way to success, several members of the current lineup — including frontman Matty Healy himself — were born in Newcastle, so the gig at the Utilita Arena on Wednesday was very much a homecoming show.
With that in mind, when British TV royalty, Geordie icon and Matty’s old man, Tim Healy popped up on stage, the crowd understandably went wild.
There were no doubt plenty of confused faces when a trademark Matty monologue and sudden cut to black was followed by the bloke from Benidorm appearing up on stage, but there was also a scream bigger than any response Taylor Swift got.
Whipping out some significantly more dramatic thespian ability than the kind you’d associate with his Auf Wiedersehen, Pet days, albeit still fully aware of bizarre the entire spectacle was, he brought one of his son’s trademark digressions about method acting to a close.
But better than that, the 70-year-old ended up staying on stage to perform his own low-key ‘All I Need to Hear‘ cover as the band played in the background. Surreal.
To be honest, it might just be the wholesomeness of it all, but we think we might prefer the older Healy’s version.
Sing it, Tim!
Imagine bringing your dad onto the stage only for him to absolutely steal the show. Brilliant stuff.
Both he and Matty’s celebrity mum Denise Welch have been spotted at various shows as the band continue to perform their ‘At Their Very Best’ tour around the country, with various fans interacting with them in the crowd, but very few would have been expecting an impromptu song from one of them.
Both are obviously more closely associated with TV, with Welch known for appearing on the likes of Coronation Street, Hollyoaks, Loose Women and many more, but if we don’t up end up getting both of them on stage before this tour is over we’ll be genuinely fuming.
It also looks like the reaction meant a lot to him:
Elsewhere in the show, The 1975’s Newcastle fans were treated to an equally ridiculous surprise appearance from Harry Styles. Well, not really…
In case you haven’t seen it already, the band conspired to prank the crowd by putting the former One Direction star’s name up on the screen, only to bring out Scottish singer Lewis Capaldi instead.
He obviously got just as lovely a reaction and fully leaned into bantering with the crowd — joking, “I know what you’re thinking: ‘Harry Styles‘ looks a bit different.'” — before performing a cover of ‘Antichrist’.