Shropshire Star

Piano-playing celebrities set to descend on Ludlow for start of town's new piano festival

A galaxy of celebrity piano players are heading to Ludlow this evening for the start of a four-day festival.

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Alistair McGowan playing piano at Fringe community piano, Ludlow, in advance of piano festival in the town..

Impressionist and pianist Alistair McGowan is the driving force behind the Ludlow Piano Festival, as the new event's joint artistic director and chair.

Mr McGowan, who lives near Ludlow, says he has "a desire to celebrate this fabulous instrument and how it can move and inspire people".

He has been helped out by showbiz friends who have given up their time for nothing to play during the opening concert this evening.

Hosted by Robert (Judge) Rinder, it will feature actors, presenters and comedians each playing a solo piece or two on the Steinway in the cathedral-like St Laurence’s Church.

Although subject to change, the celebrity line up includes comedian Jo Brand, Holby City actor Bob Barrett, BBC Bargain Hunt's Ben Cooper, BBC presenter Katie Derham, Mr GoCompare Wynne Evans, The Mash Report's Rachel Parris and BBC sport presenter Garry Richardson.