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Paul O’Grady fans emotional as late star makes appearance in Eurovision semi-final

‘A gorgeous little nod to the great and utterly fabulous Paul O’Grady in the opening titles’

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Paul O’Grady fans were left emotional after the late star made a cameo appearance last night in a video for the Eurovision semi-final 2023.

Viewers watching the first semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2023, in Liverpool, were in tears just moments in as the late Paul O’Grady appeared on screen in one of his final TV appearances before his passing. 

The Birkenhead-born comedian and TV presenter died suddenly at his home in Kent on March 28th.

On Tuesday May 9th fans filled the M&S Bank Arena as the international competition got under way in Merseyside, with Paul making his cameo during the opening film titled Welcome to Liverpool — where the Eurovision is being hosted on behalf of 2022 winners, Ukraine. 


As 160 million people watched on, the film began with the moment a young Liverpudlian boy discovered that his home city was set to host the 2023 contest. He travelled across the city telling his family, friends, neighbours that the world’s greatest music competition was arriving.

Along the way viewers saw some special guests with their own personal connection to Liverpool making their own preparations to welcome Ukraine to the city, including Paul who was cleaning his floor while cradling one of his beloved dogs.

This was one of the last things Paul filmed before he passed away and his appearance in the film was agreed with the blessing of his family and friends.


The film then cut to two children in tracksuits, including the boy from the story, with a slower version of Together In Electric Dreams.

One fan approved of the sweet tribute, saying: ‘A gorgeous little nod to the great and utterly fabulous Paul O’Grady in the opening titles to #Eurovision.’

Someone else put: “Three minutes into #Eurovision and I’m already bawling – not least due to the poignant opening cameo by my favourite fellow Scouser, Paul O’Grady.” 

Another added: “A gorgeous little nod to the great and utterly fabulous Paul O’Grady in the opening titles.” 


Throughout the journey, a number of celebrities and recognisable faces make an appearance who have their own personal connection to the city, including a special guest appearance from the newly-crowned King Charles III and Queen Camilla. 

Their Majesties unveiled the staging for the contest during a visit to the host city last month.

The other faces that featured in Welcome to Liverpool video included Wirral-born baker Paul Hollywood, Ukrainian Everton football star Vitalii Mykolenko, Liverpool FC women’s footballers Sofie Lungaard from Denmark and Emma Koivisto from Finland.

As well as actor Ricky Tomlinson who revisits his Brookside character Bobby Grant, Ukrainian Strictly Come Dancing star Nikita Kuzmin and Drag Race UK contestant Sister Sister.


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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