Breakthrough moment as live entertainment returns to Wigan township

Comic Jamie Sutherland hosted a variety night with stand-up comedy and songs

Monday, 21st June 2021, 7:00 am
Neil Dunlop

Live entertainment has returned to a Wigan township.

Comic Jamie Sutherland hosted a variety night with stand-up comedy and songs – and even opera – from Standish singer Neil Dunlop.

Music lovers will remember Neil – known as Wigan’s “PIE-varotti” from his weekly singing sessions for the NHS outside his Standish home at the start of the pandemic.

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And he was still in good voice at Standish Social Club.

Over the coming months, there are due to be more events, including a regular Northern Soul session.

Host Jamie said: “Always great having Neil part of the shows we do, wonderful talent.”

Singer Neil has been something of a musical hero in Standish, singing from his front garden to celebrate carers during lockdown.

A charity fund-raising drive also saw him sing for 13 hours to raise money for The Christie.

This was to help a friend raise money for the cancer hospital as they are being treated there. Neil raised the cash during four gigs, including nine hours of singing at his local The Albion in its new beer garden.

Neil sang on Thursday nights throughout the Clap For Carers events through lockdown last year, with people living in Standish saying they could hear him from across the village.

His performances sparked comments from a number of locals about how uplifting they have been at a time of crisis.

And Jamie is no stranger either to cheering Standishers up.

At the start of the year, he organised an online comedy night during the third national lockdown.

Jamie, along with Britain’s Got Talent star Steve Royle, hosted the Laughs From The Line in what proved to be a night of fun. Guests included the Wigan Warriors legend Liam Farrell, with whom he had a fun chat about his sporting career.

All of it took place on Zoom with people asked to support the entertainers.

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