Coronation Street stars join line-up of Shropshire Virtual Festival

By Rory Smith | Entertainment | Published: | Last Updated:

A Coronation Street star is the latest to be announced as part of the line up for an inaugural virtual festival in Shropshire.

Judges at the Shropshire event include Ian Bartholomew and Loveday Ingram

TV soap character Geoff Metcalfe, played by Ian Bartholomew, will join stars of the stage and screen who have offered their time to take part in Shropshire’s Got Talent, part of the Shropshire Virtual Show.

The online event celebrating the very best of the county is set to take place on Saturday, August 22 in aid of five Shropshire charities, The Cavalier Centre, League of Friends to The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital, The Movement Centre, Dog A.I.D and Shropshire Rural Communities Charity.

The judges, Ian Bartholomew, Loveday Ingram, Michael Jenkins, Pip Minnithorpe and Grace Tong, have backgrounds across the entertainment industry and will make up a formidable panel set to provide winners with invaluable feedback.

Loveday Ingram, West End and RSC Theatre director, and husband Ian Bartholomew, said: “We are delighted to be involved and so pleased to be supporting the wonderful charities that will benefit.”

Ian, who was recently involved in one of Coronation Street’s most dramatic domestic violence storylines is keen to help talent shine in Shropshire.

He said: “I understand there will be some exciting industry experiences as prizes so it’s definitely worth uploading your video now.”

Pip Minnithorpe, West End Theatre Associate Director, whose credits include Mamma Mia, Wicked and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, said: “I am thrilled to be judging this competition; I know there are a lot of talented people in Shropshire and who knows, we might find some stars of the future. I am looking for originality, confidence and joy in performing.”

Competition entrants are encouraged to upload a video of their talent, which could be dancing, singing, playing an instrument or acting. The more unusual skills, perhaps acquired in lockdown, are being encouraged.


Entrants are asked to make a suggested donation when they upload their video and talented participants can enter as many times as they like in a range of categories.

These include 12 and under, 17 and under, 18 and over and seniors.

Michael Jenkins, Shropshire-based TV and stage actor, said: “We know that many people have taken the opportunity to develop their talents in lockdown, particularly on platforms like TikTok. I’m really keen to see seniors participate, so why not share with us and who knows where it could lead – we might even find Shropshire’s answer to Colin Thackery.”

Grace Tong, founder of the Chinese Arts and Culture Centre and a dance specialist, said: “Entrants will have a really wide audience for their talent via this competition so I would encourage all students to have a go.”

To take part in this competition, go to

Rory Smith

By Rory Smith
Reporter - @rorysmith_star

Senior reporter based at the Shropshire Star's head office in Ketley, Telford.

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