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Manchester Paul O’Grady mural defaced days after being created

‘It would be great to do it at Battersea Dogs Home so it could live on permanently as a fitting home’

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@paulogrady / Instagram & Manchester Murals

A mural in South Manchester depicting Paul O’Grady has been defaced just days after being created.

The mural appeared on the Fallowfield Loop, under Kingsway, early last week after the announcement that the much loved comedian had died ‘unexpectedly but peacefully’ at the age of 67, on Tuesday March 28th.

Featuring O’Grady’s portrait next to a dog alongside the caption ‘For Paul’, the original artwork was created by artist Manchester Murals, who described it earlier this week as a way of recognising the ‘well-grounded entertainment machine that spanned generations’.

The caption next to the image on the Manchester Murals Facebook page reads: “A mural celebrating the life of Paul O’Grady.

Manchester Murals

“Paul always seemed like a well-grounded entertainment machine that spanned generations, was one of the nation’s favourite drag artists and through his love for animals, he was an ambassador for Battersea, where he helped raise their profile. Only felt right to include a dog in his mural. Thanks for everything, Paul! Rest well.”

The witty showbiz star who touched the hearts of the nation was known for his love of animals and hosted the popular ITV show For the Love of Dogs. On Sunday April 2nd, people visiting the mural to pay their respects to him discovered the portrait of O’Grady and the dog had unfortunately been defaced.

Speaking to The Manchester Evening News, Artist Chris Moore, aka Manchester Murals, said: “I did this work out of a passion for my art and out of respect for Paul O’Grady who meant so much to people and animals throughout his life. I was instantly driven to create a fitting mural in his honour, and I felt it was only natural to include a dog in that.”

Manchester Murals

Chris, who said he spent a couple of days working on the project, said he was ‘disappointed’ to learn that his artwork had been vandalised but understood that it’s one of the realities that comes with street art, saying: “It would have been nice for it to last longer. I only finished it on Thursday so it’s not even been three days since it was created.

“I can kind of understand people’s disappointment in that the mural has only lasted as long as it has, especially given how recent his passing was, but, ultimately and unfortunately, this is part of the nature of the street art and mural scene.”

Chris said he has ‘not ruled out’ the possibility of repairing the artwork, but explained he, ultimately, would prefer to now re-home the design altogether. He continued: “I guess, ideally, it’d be nice for it to be rehoused now. It would be great to do it at Battersea Dogs Home so it could live on permanently as a fitting home.”

@paulogrady / Instagram

Since unveiling the artwork on Thursday, Chris, who has also previously created artwork featuring the likes of footballer Phil Foden, Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour and chef Phil Rosenthal, said he has been inundated with positive messages about the mural this week.

He added: “I’ve spent my adult life in Manchester, I feel an affinity to the city. I’ve been painting professionally for over two years and I’m just trying to build the business and my portfolio to try and turn my passion into a full-time career.

“The response has been overwhelming, I’ve had loads of messages from people asking where it was located as they wanted to visit it with their dogs. I’m really happy that people were able to enjoy it.”


Boy, 11, left in critical condition after being hit by police van

Awful news this morning

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Good Morning Britain / ITV

A boy has been left in critical condition in hospital following an incident with a police van last night.

The 11-year-old was struck by a police van in Lancaster on Thursday night, May 25th, as the van was attending a call.

Lancashire Police say the vehicle was en route to an emergency call when the collision happened.

The boy was crossing Owen Road just before 8:30 pm when he was hit, and was transported to Royal Lancaster Infirmary in a critical condition.

A police spokesperson said: “Our thoughts are with the child’s loved ones at this time.

“An investigation is underway to establish the full circumstances that led to the collision.

“We have voluntarily referred this matter to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), as is standard with an incident of this nature.”

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The IOPC said in a statement: “We have declared an independent investigation into the actions of Lancashire Police prior to a road traffic collision in Owen Road, Lancaster at around 8.30pm tonight, in which a child has been injured.

“We understand that a marked police van, with its lights and sirens on, was in a collision with an 11-year-old boy.

“We were notified by the force shortly after the collision and declared an investigation at 10.37pm. IOPC investigators are heading to the scene and the police post incident procedure to begin gathering information.”

According to the IOPC, the investigation is in its early stages.

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Sam Smith cancels upcoming shows due to ‘vocal cord injury’ and tells fans ‘I’m so sorry’

‘Refunds will be available at point of purchase for all three dates; Manchester, Birmingham and Glasgow’

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@davidleedesign / Twitter

Sam Smith has cancelled their upcoming shows due to a vocal cord injury and issued a statement telling fans, ‘I’m so sorry’.

The singer had to call off their Gloria Tour show, mid-way through, at Manchester AO Arena last night (Wednesday May 24th) after experiencing ‘vocal issues’.

The lights went off and fans waited in darkness for a number of minutes as speculation circulated on social media, with many wondering if there had been a ‘power cut’.

Moments later, after just four songs, a packed-out arena was told the show unfortunately had to be called off.

@samsmith / Instagram

Afterwards, Sam, 31, issued a statement on their Instagram stories to tell fans — who had missed out on a ‘surprise’ that was supposed to be at the end of the show — how ‘sorry’ they were.

Today, Thursday May 25th, the ‘Unholy’ singer has issued another statement after calling off upcoming gigs.

On their Instagram stories, the star wrote: “Due to vocal issues during last night’s Manchester performance, regrettably we will be cancelling the rescheduled Birmingham and Glasgow Sam Smith shows.

“Refunds will be available at point of purchase for all three dates; Manchester, Birmingham and Glasgow.

Manchester’s Finest Group

“A spokesperson said ‘Doctors have advised due to a vocal cord injury, Sam must have complete vocal rest’.

“Sam is heartbroken to have had to cancel these shows but they have been told by doctors that if they keep singing, they will do permanent damage to their voice.

“If they take some rest they will be able to perform again. I’m so sorry.”

Sam already had to push back the Birmingham and Glasgow gigs after suffering from a virus several weeks ago.

@samsmith / Instagram

After calling off last night’s show at Manchester’s AO Arena, Sam wrote on their Instagram story: “Today in soundcheck I felt fine and was so excited to give Manchester an amazing show tonight, with a special surprise at the end.

“During my third song, I noticed something wrong with my voice. I prayed it was just my voice waking up for the show but into the fourth song I could feel something was really wrong.”

The pop singer added: “I came off stage and have tried everything to get my voice back in gear but it won’t.

“I am honestly heartbroken I couldn’t finish the show tonight for you all. I love you all. I’m sorry I’m sorry I’m sorry.”

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Body found in river in search for missing 24-year-old woman

Shannon’s family have been informed

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Lancashire Police

A body has been found in a river in the search for a missing woman from Lancashire.

Police searching for Shannon Canning from Lancaster say they have found a body. The 24-year-old had been missing from home since the early hours of Friday May 19th.

A search operation was launched to find the young woman who did not turn up for work at Tipple bar on Friday afternoon. 

Public appeals for help were launched by her family and the police force, who said they were concerned for her welfare as the disappearance was out of character.

Lancashire Police

Lancashire Police have confirmed the body of a woman was found in the River Lune near Halton on Wednesday afternoon, May 24th. Shannon’s family has been informed.

Patrols were increased during the week and specialist divers joined the search yesterday. Officers were called at around 4.20pm Wednesday afternoon when the discovery was made.

A statement from Lancashire Police said: “Sadly, officers searching for missing Shannon Canning have an update, following a body recovered from the River Lune.

“We can confirm that we were called today (May 24th) at around 4:20pm to a report that a body had been found in the River Lune, near Halton.

Christine Johnstone / Geograph

“Specialist search teams have subsequently attended the area and can sadly confirm that the body of a woman has been recovered.

“Although formal identification has yet to take place, we believe the body to be that of missing Shannon Canning.

“Shannon’s family have been made aware of this sad development and our thoughts are with them at this upsetting time.”

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