Coronation Street fame awaits Padiham man

A UNIQUE album that looks set to storm the Christmas charts features the voice of a homegrown star.

Padiham-born Andrew Derbyshire was asked to sing a track on the album “Rogues, Angels, Heroes and Villains” to celebrate the 50th anniversary of television’s longest running and best-loved soap “Coronation Street”.

And Andrew is the only artist on the album who is not a past or present member of the Corrie cast.

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The talented singer said that he felt “honoured and privileged’’ to be part of the album, launched this week to coincide with the Street’s most spectacular storylines when an explosion and tram crash caused death and destruction.

Andrew said: “I have grown up watching Coronation Street, it’s like part of me and who I am so when I was asked to sing a track on the album I didn’t hesitate.

“I, probably like everyone else in the country, have been glued to the television all week watching it. The scenes have been spectacular and I spoke to someone on the show who said they brought in special effects people from Hollywood to make it all look so real.”

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Andrew shared the studio while recording the album, which tells all the most memorable stories of life in the Street over the past half a century, with dozens of Corrie stars including Katherine Kelly, who plays feisty barmaid Becky McDonald, and Kym Marsh who plays the Street siren Michelle Connor.

Andrew, who was launched on the path to success when he made it to the top 50 in the first-ever reality television talent show, “Pop Idol” nine years ago, said: “They were all fantastic to work with. I spent some time with Katherine Kelly and she is so lovely, down to earth and hard working.”

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Album producer Trisha Ward asked Andrew to sing as she had worked with him on several projects in the past.

A track called “Sweet Butterfly” was written especially for Andrew which is based around the life of character Sean Tully the chirpy barman and knicker factory worker who is loved by the viewersand played by actor Antony Cotton.

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Andrew, who lives in London, but comes home whenever he can to see his family and friends in Padiham, said: “It’s a fantastic song all about people who want to pull themselves out of their drab existence and really achieve their dreams.’’

And in the New Year Andrew is lookng forward to playing the role of Sean in “Coronation Street The Musical”, a touring show that looks set to be premiered at The Lowry Theatre in Salford.

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Andrew’s musical career began when he was just 19 and talent spotters saw him on “Pop Idol”. He was then chosen for the lead role in the smash hit West End musical “We Will Rock You”.