Ashley helps kids live the dream with contest

Finalists in this years Northern Star competition at Viva Blackpool
Finalists in this years Northern Star competition at Viva Blackpool
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A West End actor from Blackpool has given young singers and dancers a chance to live their dream.

The third annual Northern Star talent competition saw children from across the North West come to Viva Blackpool for the final.

Northern Star winner Kaya Palmer, front, with from left, host Eden Kippax, with celebrity judges EastEnders and Hollyoaks star Glen Wallace, E4s Stage School star and Dreamgirls cast member Durone Stokes and West End performer Charlotte Jeffery, and contest organiser Ashley Luke Lloyd

Northern Star winner Kaya Palmer, front, with from left, host Eden Kippax, with celebrity judges EastEnders and Hollyoaks star Glen Wallace, E4s Stage School star and Dreamgirls cast member Durone Stokes and West End performer Charlotte Jeffery, and contest organiser Ashley Luke Lloyd

Ashley Luke Lloyd was brought up in Blackpool but has travelled the world performing in musicals.

He set up Northern Star in 2015 to help young performers further their skills and follow their dreams.

He’s currently in the original West End cast of Dreamgirls, and was in the cast of Mamma Mia when it spent the summer of 2014 at the Opera House in Blackpool.

Ashley said: “I started Northern Star to give a platform for northern children to perform in a professional environment in front of industry professionals and agents in hope that they are inspired to live their dreams.

“Living in London while I’m in Dreamgirls, I can see there are so many opportunities for children who dream to be on the stage, and I want to show the children of the north that they too can make it on to the big stage.

“Tracey Bell of Scream Theatre School scouted me when I was just eight years old, and I’ve been lucky enough to have someone believe in my talent and that led me to perform in more than 10 countries around the world. I believe if you have the passion and drive – no matter where you are from – it really can happen.

“I truly am blessed to have had someone believe in me and encourage my dreams.The entrants were all brilliant, and our judges had a tough job to pick a winner, while giving some incredible feedback.”

The winner was Kaya Palmer from the Lake District, with Blackpool entrants Connor Rycroft and Anya Haley joint runners-up.