Bolton comedian Peter Kay will be hosting an exciting Bolton’s Got Talent charity event celebrating The Bolton News 150th anniversary in 2017.

The actual date of The Bolton News’ birthday is March 19, but we plan to celebrate throughout the year, with supplements, exhibitions and the ‘Bolton’s Got Talent’ evening.

It will feature the best eight unsigned local amateur acts, who will be chosen as part of a Bolton News competition, and staged at the Premier Suite in the Macron Stadium.

All proceeds will go to Bolton Hospice. Peter said: “Bolton’s Got Talent is going to be an incredible event. Not only for the community but also for Bolton Hospice, with all money raised going to the wonderful charity. I'm honoured to be working on something so positive in my home town.”

The evening will include a three course meal, entertainment, from the finalists that were selected from dozens of fantastic entries to our Bolton’s Got Talent competition by a panel that included Peter Kay, and then ending the evening with a disco.

Age guide 18+

The finalists are as follows:

The Cottontown Chorus of Bolton has established itself as a leading barbershop group within the UK and on the international circuit – well known for their harmonious renderings of modern pop and rock songs. With a great sense of fun and a unique style of entertainment, the Cottontown Chorus has gripped audiences during its history of 38 years and got our attention with an hilarious take on Queen’s hit Fat Bottomed Girls.
Chorus member, David Kitchenham, said: “Our close-knit membership of nearly 60 guys has a strong commitment to vocal and performing excellence. Cottontown particularly enjoys competing in both national and international competitions.
Theatre Works teaches acting, dance and singing to more than 150 children every week across Bolton and Bury.
Founded in 2012, they are run by Lauren Bateman and Emma Matthews – two professional actresses from Bolton with a passion for the arts, teaching and young people. Emma said: “We are whole-heartedly dedicated to celebrating each child’s talents and to encourage them to be the best that they can be, no matter their age, gender or learning needs. Our whole ethos is about being fully inclusive and we have many children with learning difficulties and varying needs who will be performing in the show. We are super excited to be representing talent in Bolton and being part of this amazing evening.”
Jaiden Sayer is a 13-year-old dancer whose talent was spotted two years ago after joining a gymnastic class at Aspire in Westhoughton. He went on to study ballet and tap with Aspire, as well as freestyle at Twizzles in Horwich. He now also trains in ballet, contemporary and creative choreography at the Lowry in Manchester. Jaiden said: “I am really excited to have been selected for the final of this competition. My dream is to become a professional dancer.  As a boy I get ridiculed for dancing but I carry on in the hope that it will encourage other boys to know it’s OK if they want to dance, it’s not just for girls. nDance gives me time to escape all the people that ridicule and gives me confidence.”
Pianist, James Stevenson, caught our judges’ attention with his performance of the Billy Joel song, Piano Man.
The 22-year-old from Deane said: "I’ve grown up around musical instruments all my life, so it was only a matter of time before I decided to pick one of them up and have a go." As pianist in a jazz band, James has performed in front of a large audience at Bolton Albert Halls – an experience he describes as ‘incredible’.
Carla Rutherford is a talented 13-year-old singer from Bolton who made our shortlist with a rendition of Live out Loud from Disney’s A Little Princess.
Carla said:  “I have a passion for musical theatre and for the last four years I have attended weekly classes in drama, musical theatre, piano and more recently dance. My dream is to one day be able to given the opportunity to perform on the West End stage.”
Sarah Louise Keegan is an optometrist who lectures at the University of Manchester and lives in Bolton with her husband and two children.
But in her other life, she’s an accordion-toting comedienne with a good ear for a tune and a witty take on northern life. Having learned piano from age 4, Sarah added other instruments to her repertoire and even learned to sing opera, which she uses in her comedy act.  Sarah enrolled on the inaugural Frog and Bucket Comedy Course in Manchester, where Peter launched his career and whom she describes as her ‘comedy hero’. Performing regularly on the comedy circuit, Sarah has headlined The Opera House, Blackpool for BBC Radio Lancashire’s Comic Relief Gala and broadcast live on the John Gillmore show where Sarah is a regular guest.
Antony Booth is a 43-year-old impressionist who works as a primary school teacher at St Thomas’ in Halliwell. His take on Bolton funnyman and lifelong pal of Peter, Paddy McGuinness, impressed the judges. Antony said: “I first heard about the competition through Facebook, but didn’t really think I should attempt it.  I’ve never done my impersonations in public before, but as a child would mimic teachers and sports commentators.” Despite his initial misgivings, Antony plucked up the courage to send us an audition tape that also featured his renditions of Morgan Freeman and Sir Alex Ferguson and he is now looking forward to our 150th celebration evening. He added: “I really was genuinely shocked and humbled to make it through to the last eight and be performing at such a wonderful event and in front of Peter Kay.”
Rachael Green made the shortlist with a powerful rendition of the Sam Cooke classic, A Change Is Gonna Come. The 28-year-old Astley Bridge resident started playing guitar ten years ago and now performs all over the northwest. She said: “I like to take songs and put my own twist on them. I'm really excited to sing in the final and being part of this competition will give me more confidence to get my own music out there for people to enjoy.”

Additional information


£65 each (or £600 for table of 10) and there are a limited number of VIP tables nearer the stage at £100 per ticket or £900 for a table of 10.

Age guide


Show accessible performances only