Searching out the best Northern Stars

Kelsey Beth Crossley will judge Northern Star
Kelsey Beth Crossley will judge Northern Star
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Young performers are being given a chance to shine in the grand final of the Northern Star talent contest.

Run by Blackpool musical man Ashley Luke Lloyd, Northern Star is seeking to find the next big thing in stage talent and will culminate with a special event at Viva Blackpool on Sunday, August 2.

Special guest judges are all long-time performers, including Blackpool’s Dancing On Ice pro Dan Whiston and Fleetwood’s ex-Emmerdale actress and The Voice 2014 contestant Kelsey Beth Crossley.

Also on the panel is actress and singer Ashley J Russell, a finalist in the BBC’s- I’d Do Anything TV talent search, which was eventually won by Blackpool’s Jodie Prenger.

Ashley appeared last summer in the cast of Mamma Mia! at the Opera House, alongside Ashley Luke.

“It’s been quite a journey with the talent show, around the Lake District, Cumbria, Cheshire, Yorkshire and of course Blackpool for the heats,” Ashley Luke said.

“We also had video submissions giving one place away and an automatic pass to the semi-final called ‘The Wildcard’ where the general public voted for the entrants videos online - the winner had 14,000 views and more than 500 ‘likes’.

“We are getting interest from lots of northern agents which I am so pleased about, as the event is all about showcasing these amazing northern talents.”

He set up the competition based on his own experience of the theatre industry, performing professionally in major musicals since the age of 10.

Ashley made his professional debut as a child actor in a three-year tour of Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Whistle Down The Wind, and was Michael in the original cast of musical Billy Elliot, which celebrated its 10th anniversary recently.

As an adult he was in Loserville in the West End, and has recently left the international tour cast of Mamma Mia!

The winner of Northern Star will get a set of professional headshot photos and a session in a recording studio.

Tickets for the final are on sale now from Viva in Church Street, costing £10 for adults and £5 for children. Call 01253 297297.