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Monsoon girls model latest fashions at breast cancer charity event

Charity Fashion show at Monsoon in the Darwin Centre, Shrewsbury. From left, Lauren Foskett, Sally-Ann Said, Patricia Williams and Becca Paulett.

Staff from a Shrewsbury fashion store will take to the catwalk this month to help raise money for a worthy cause.

Monsoon, in the town’s busy Darwin Centre, will showcase their glamorous Autumn/Winter collection at a special event at Castle Street hair salon Toni and Guy on Thursday, October 27.

The glittering occasion is being held to raise money for Breast Cancer Awareness and Monsoon assistant manager Carolyn Codd said: “It’s such a good cause and one that affects so many people that we were delighted to help.

“Breast cancer is important to everyone and everyone knows someone who has been affected in some way by it, either directly or through a relative or friend and events like this help raise awareness of the disease.

“I think people will also enjoy our Autumn/Winter collection which is really outstanding with vibrant colours and lovely fabrics.

“We will be showcasing daywear and evening wear and outfits for casual and for special occasions.”

The Monsoon show will be part of what promises to be a special evening with hair products specialists ghd there to give styling advice and tips as well as donating £10 for every pink orchid limited edition styler sold and William A Lewis bringing their latest range of eco-friendly cars.

Jules Condi from makeup specialists Twisted Fairytales will also be on hand and there will be a raffle and goody bags too and a special 20 per cent discount at The Lion and Pheasant.

Gavin Pulham, of Toni and Guy in Shrewsbury, said: “The event will run from 5.30pm to 8.30pm and as well as the fashion show we will be offering a lot more.

“There will be champagne cocktails and mini makeovers and consultations and we actually also have a trained member of staff to help advise people who have had treatment for cancer.”

Anyone interested in attending can contact Toni and Guy on 01743 241325 or call at the Castle Street salon.

Anyone who wants to view the charity work done by Monsoon and get in touch to suggest new ideas for further charity work can visit http://uk.monsoon.co.uk/view/category/uk_catalog/mon_7,mon_7.5

Hollywood to Stretford for Busby film

Actors Jack Smith and Philip Jackson on location at Stretford market

 Hollywood came to Stretford Mall this week and stars mingled with shoppers as the opening scenes of a major new movie about football legend Sir Matt Busby were shot there.

The years were rolled back to 1984 as the busy Mall’s market hall became the scene of a fictional meeting between the great Manchester United manager and an 11-year-old footballing tearaway called George.

And for many of the crew and cast of Theatre of Dreams, which stars awards-winning actor Brian Cox, Braveheart and the Bourne Identity, Natasha McElhone, The Truman Show, and Phillip Jackson, Brassed Off, filming at the Mall was very much a home game.

Director David Scheinemann is from just a mile away in nearby Sale and passed Stretford Mall every day on his way to school at Manchester Grammar School while the extras included tenants of the market hall.

The film tells the fictional story of the celebrated Sir Matt and his decision to take young Georgie under his wing. He sets up a youth side and coaches them to compete in the Manchester Junior Football League Cup.

While helping young Georgie to realise his dreams, the great man also helps himself lay the ghosts of the 1958 Munich Air Crash when eight of his glorious Busby Babes Manchester United were killed on their way home from a European Cup match in Yugoslavia.

The film opens with a madcap chase through the busy market as Georgie leaves a trail of destruction in his wake as he dribbles a football through the crowds.

For David Scheinemann, an award-winning music video director and photographer, it’s very much a return to familiar territory: “I grew up just down the road in Sale,” he said: “I’ve known this place all my life.

“I’d been here a couple of times and I passed it every day on the way to s chool and I’m actually staying with my parents while we’re filming.

“We have been filming all over Manchester, and this is a perfect filming location and it allows us to capture scenes that are really disappearing in this region, scenes that show how things used to look.”

“The film has got all the ingredients to be popular – football, Manchester United and Sir Matt Busby, who is one of the greatest folk heroes whose story hasn’t really been told in British cinema.”

Manager of the Stretford Mall, Colin McCrory, said it was a real thrill to host the filming and added: It’s been brilliant having them here and has definitely caused quite a stir.

“The mall is a lively place and is very much part of the local scene which includes the football heritage of the city.

“We’ve had a few celebrities here before and it’s great to have Hollywood actors and to be able to look forward to seeing the place on the screen next year – I’ll definitely be going to see it.”

Phillip Jackson, Chief Inspector James Japp in ITV’s Poirot, who plays Sir Matt’s friend, Bob, admitted to being a Leeds fan but said: “We’ve rather disrupted quite a few people’s lives here but they’ve been very understanding.

“The film is set in 1984 and I think the mall looks great with all the stalls piled with goods – it makes you want to buy some of it.”

He did get the offer of a haircut from Francis Mountfly, of 84 Street barber’s shop but said: “Better not – I’d get in trouble with the continuity people.”

Francis, whose hair studio has been in the Streford Mall for two years and who is an extra in the film, said: “It’s been a great experience. As you can see the characters are coming into my establishment and it’s a pleasure to welcome them.

“I feel honoured and this really puts the Mall on the map and shows we’re very much open for business.”

The film’s location manager is Joe Cairns who lives in Stretford and he said: “I live round the corner so it’s nice to be filming on my doorstep – I come here to Stretford Mall every Saturday, it’s great and very handy.

“We looked at about six different shopping centres in the area and the director liked this one best.”

Young Jack Smith, fittingly a United fan whose favourite player is Ashley Young, also made a purchase, a woolly hat from Sofi Patel’s stall.

He said: “It’s great, I really liked it and I’ve enjoyed the filming even though it’s meant I haven’t been able to play football this season.”

Would he prefer an acting or a footballing career? “I’d like to be like Eric Cantona and do both.”

Joe Cairns explained that Jack was chosen after a nationwide search and he said: “He’s a really good footballer and it’s easier to find a footballer and teach him to act than trying to teach an actor to play football.”

Sofi Patel, who has been in the Mall for 24 years, said: “It’s nice to have them all here. It’s a bit of excitement and I have sold a few things to them as well.”

Theatre of Dreams, which also stars Anne Reid (The Mother) as Sir Matt’s wife, Toby Stephens (Die Another Day) and Kate Ashfield (Shaun Of The Dead) as well as a cameo performance by presenter and lifelong football fan Stuart Hall, is due for release next year.

Chorley’s biggest MJ fan goes to London for King of Pop’s birthday

Michael Jackson fan Celeste Dixon

AN Aussie barista from Chorley who owns almost £20,000 worth of Michael Jackson memorabilia has been to London to celebrate what would have been the King of Pop’s 53rd birthday.

Celeste Dixon, 26, who works at Costa Coffee in Market Walk, Chorley, has idolised the man who brought us the moon walk since she was a little girl.

Every August since his death, she has travelled to London to join other dedicated fans to mark the singing phenomenon’s birthday and this year was no exception.

Since 1996, aged 11, Celeste has spent every spare bit of money buying up Michael Jackson mementoes to honour an unrivalled music career which spanned more than four decades.

Celeste, who has worked at Costa in Market Walk for just over a year and has a diploma in graphic design, said: “The most expensive item I have bought is the 12 inch Smile single which he never released because it was due to go out a couple of days after Princess Diana died and he couldn’t bring himself to release it. I paid 1200 Australian dollars, not too far off £1,000, which is quite a lot when you consider there is only one song on it and I have only listened to it once!”

Her colossal collection, which mostly lives at the family home in Adelaide, South Australia, includes every single 12 inch single and every single 12 inch album ever released by the global superstar. But you will also find figurines, badges, sunglasses, umbrellas and a whole host of other items all dedicated to the extraordinarily talented singer songwriter.

What is ironic is that Celeste never ever saw Michael Jackson perform live, a chance which was  cruelly snatched from her by the singer’s unexpected death in June 2009.

Celeste, who quotes Smooth Criminal and Stranger in Moscow as her favourite Jacko tracks and has two tattoos dedicated to the artist, said: “It is hard to believe I know but I have never seen him perform live. We had tickets for the opening night, second night and last night of his farewell O2 tour, This Is It, which he was rehearsing for just before he died. I worked out I had spent close to £1,000 to get those tickets and it is gutting to me that I never got to see him.

“I saw him at the press conference when he announced the tour but all I really remember is being crushed that day although I did see him at least.”

The memory of the day her idol died is still etched in her mind.

She said: “I can remember every single detail about it. It was just grief, wailing, bursting into tears. I don’t think I have ever cried so much in my life. I rang my mum, it was about 4 am in the morning and I was just crying down the phone to her and she just couldn’t believe it when I told her what had happened.”

Celeste’s whole family are fans too and her earliest memory is of watching Moonwalker, a film released by Michael Jackson in 1988. She said: “I was only about three or four at the time but I remember being completely absorbed in how he moved. There were just no words to describe it but it was like gold melting.

“I suppose you could say I was brought up with him because my mum is a big fan and she said she used to play Billie Jean quite a lot when I was still in her tummy so maybe that is where it all started.”

Her boyfriend, Malc Jennings, 32, is just as big a Michael Jackson fan and the pair met on a forum dedicated to the Thriller singer.

Their latest Michael Jackson trip away was to a party on August 28 organised by fans at the Pimlico Academy in Pimlico, central London, to mark the singer’s 53rd birthday.

Celeste said: “This is the third time we have been and they are always brilliant. We have met some terrific friends through going to events like this who love and respect him just as much as we do.”

When asked why the pop sensation has been such an incredible passion in her life, Celeste said: “I adore him because of what he stood for and he stood for everything which is good in this world and when you look around and see how much bad there is, well I don’t know what he would have said about all that but I wish he was still here to say it.

“He was such a humanitarian and he did everything for our benefit and gave to everybody else instead of thinking about himself. He was a very selfless person and let’s not forget what an incredible singer and dancer he was too. It is just so sad he is not here with us anymore.”

2408Celeste Dixon 01 and 05: Celeste Dixon is one of the King of Pop’s biggest fans. She is pictured here with a fraction of her £20,000 collection

Tattoo ankle CelesteDixon08: One of two tattoos which Celeste has in honour of her pop idol