A giant 11-foot wooden puppet that captured the hearts of Manchester last year is returning to the city once again this summer.
After a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the much-loved free event that is Manchester Day is back for 2022 on Sunday 19 June, and thousands of people are set to flood the city’s streets for what promises to be a bigger and better parade than ever before.
Back for its first outing since 2019, the spotlight for this year’s Manchester Day – which is created by Manchester People, and produced by award-winning local arts organisation Walk the Plank – will be dedicated to the city’s children and young people, who Cllr Pat Karney said “have missed out on so much during the pandemic”.
Organisers are pulling out all the stops to make sure the city centre will be buzzing with plenty of things to see and do all day long.
And what better way to celebrate the children of the city that with a visit from a very special young guest who recently made Manchester her home after an epic 8,000 km journey through Turkey and across Europe from Syria.
Little Amal – the 3.4 metre high puppet of a Syrian girl refugee who arrived in Manchester last summer – will be out and about taking in all the sights and sounds of the unforgettable annual Manchester Day parade as it makes its way through the city streets.
With the spotlight for the return of Manchester Day this year firmly fixed on children and young people as part of the city’s year-long 2022 Our Year campaign, and as Manchester works towards becoming a UNICEF recognised child-friendly city, event organisers are asking the city’s children and young people to look out for Little Amal and be ready to “extend the hand of friendship to her” to show her the true spirit of Manchester and how the city likes to celebrate.
“This year, we’re focusing on the contribution of children and young people to our city, and the future of our planet, so we’re delighted to welcome Little Amal, one of the city’s most famous children, to the celebration,” said Liz Pugh – Creative Producer at Walk The Plank.
“And she will take the spirit of Manchester’s youth with her as she sets off on her next journey at the start of Refugee Week.”
Speaking on the return of Manchester Day for 2022, Cllr Pat Karney – Chair of Manchester Day – said: “Manchester Day is the city’s way of celebrating everything we love about our incredibly diverse city and all its brilliant communities, who together help make Manchester the best place in the world to be, and this time we’re dedicating it specially to all our children and young people who we know had such a rubbish time and missed out on so much during the pandemic.
“We’re honoured also to have Little Amal with us this year.
“She’ll be joining families and children as our iconic Manchester Day Parade makes its way through the city, and can’t wait to show her some Manchester love to hold in her heart and take with her on the next leg of her important journey.”
Featured Image – Bevan Ross (via MIF / The Walk)
Peter Kay performed three secret gigs in Bolton to raise funds for the Octagon theatre
For a man who is arguably the most famous comedian in the UK, Peter Kay sure is good at keeping a secret.
There’s been a total blanket ban on content from his shows at the AO Arena (and he’s doing more than 40…), with nothing much in the way of spoilers.
The beloved star’s latest treat that he kept almost entirely under wraps was three stand-up gigs in his hometown.
The chance to see Bolton-born Peter Kay in such an intimate setting is pretty remarkable after his huge achievement selling out arenas across the country.
It was the first time he’s performed in Bolton for more than 20 years, and was all to raise funds for the Octagon theatre.
The chance to grab tickets was only even offered to a select few people, with priority access given to Octagon members and patrons of the theatre. Then whatever was left were offered to those signed up to the theatre’s mailing list, selling out in seconds.
Peter Kay performed brand new material and celebrated the best of Bolton to an intimate audience at the theatre where he used to work on the box office.
The series of performances, sponsored by Carrs Pasties (how very Bolton) raised more than £80,000 for the Octagon, which is a registered charity.
One fan who was there said: “Peter Kay was wonderful. An incredible experience to see such an outstanding warmly funny comedian in such an intimate setting. So proud of the Octagon and what it does for the community of Bolton, both on and off stage.”
Another said: “He was absolutely fantastic, we were so lucky and pleased to be able to watch him yesterday! He’s made December special for many there’s no doubt. Thank you octagon for putting on such a great show.”
Chief Executive at the Octagon, Roddy Gauld, commented: “We had an incredible day on Sunday with three shows by Peter Kay.
“Over one thousand people got the chance to be part of a hilarious, exclusive, and up-close performance with one of Britain’s best loved comedians, here in his hometown. It was a unique experience that Octagon donors and returning customers were able to book.
“We’re a charity and rely upon fundraising. Every pound allows us to create more magical, creative experiences on and off stage for young people and communities in Bolton and beyond.
“We’re incredibly grateful to Peter for his support and to Carrs Pasties, who sponsored the shows. We raised a total of £80k and a big thank you to everyone who came, donated, and joined a memorable event that people will be talking about for years.
“Peter was a member of our Youth Theatre before working in our box office, and his talent and passion for comedy was clear then. So, you never know who you’ll meet when you book a ticket or see a show here!”
You can sign up to the Octagon’s mailing list to be the first to find out about events like this in the future here.
Trailer released for new Netflix drama series starring Michelle Keegan airing in the new year
The first trailer for a new Netflix show starring Michelle Keegan and Joanna Lumley has now been released.
In case you hadn’t heard, the highly-anticipated new crime drama show, which is titled Fool Me Once, is an adaptation of Harlan Coben’s popular novel, and is set to air on the streaming service as soon as 2024 arrives.
But now, the release of the first trailer has proved it looks brilliantly binge-worthy.
The eight-part series follows Manchester-born actress Michelle Keegan’s character, Maya Starn, who is a former special ops pilot struggling with the tragic murder of her husband, Joe, who is played by Richard Armitage.
Detective Sergeant Sami Kierce, who is portrayed by Adeel Akhtar, conducts the investigation into Joe’s death while wrestling with his own hidden truths.
Things start to get interesting though, when she observes via the nanny cam her supposedly deceased husband playing with their baby daughter in her own home.
Meanwhile, Maya’s niece and nephew embark on the journey to seek answers about their own mother’s murder which took place months ago.
But one question remains – could the two mysteries be related?
The first trailer for the show was released by Netflix at the end of last week, and it showcases a star-studded cast with the likes of Dame Joanna Lumley from Absolutely Fabulous, Adeel Akhtar from Sherwood, Emmett J Scanlan from Peaky Blinders, and Dino Fetscher from Paranoid.
The streaming service has unveiled a selection of first look images, showcasing a star-studded cast with the likes of Dame Joanna Lumley from Absolutely Fabulous, Adeel Akhtar from Sherwood, Emmett J Scanlan from Peaky Blinders, and Dino Fetscher from Paranoid.
Filming took place in Yorkshire, where production crews were spotted in the Burdock Way area near the centre of Halifax, but Michelle Keegan was also spotted filming in Manchester city centre back in May.