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Britain’s Got Talent finalist to bring host of stars to Holt for variety show

PUBLISHED: 11:51 09 October 2018 | UPDATED: 13:47 10 October 2018

Ventriloquist Steve Hewlett with sidekick Arthur Lager on Cromer Pier. Steve, who is a regular at the Pavilion Theatre, is staging a charity variety show at the Auden Theatre, Holt.
Photo: COLIN FINCH

Ventriloquist Steve Hewlett with sidekick Arthur Lager on Cromer Pier. Steve, who is a regular at the Pavilion Theatre, is staging a charity variety show at the Auden Theatre, Holt. Photo: COLIN FINCH

Archant

Since wowing judges on Britain’s Got Talent when he reached the finals of the hugely popular ITV show in 2013, ventriloquist and Cromer Pier favourite Steve Hewlett has appeared on stage all over the world, performing with top stars ranging from the Osmonds, to the Stylistics.

Adele tribute act Helen Ward-Jackson, who is appearing in a charity variety show at the Auden Theatre, Holt.
Photo: SUPPLIEDAdele tribute act Helen Ward-Jackson, who is appearing in a charity variety show at the Auden Theatre, Holt. Photo: SUPPLIED

His love of Norfolk dates back to when he performed at Great Yarmouth more than 30 years ago, and, keen to return to the county that helped shaped his career, the popular comic is gearing up to bring an all-new variety show to the Auden Theatre, Holt.

Steve, who hails from Eastbourne, cut his comedy teeth as a twelve-year-old, when he developed a ventriloquism act after seeing a performance by 1980s TV star Keith Harris and his cuddly pal, Orville the duck.

Steve Gore and his Magic Family, who are appearing in a charity variety show at the Auden Theatre, Holt on October 22.
Photo: SUPPLIEDSteve Gore and his Magic Family, who are appearing in a charity variety show at the Auden Theatre, Holt on October 22. Photo: SUPPLIED

The pair finally met when they appeared together on a children’s show four years later and remained close friends until Keith died in 2015.

“He was my idol,” Steve said. “And after we were on TV together, he gave me two of my first characters – Pongo the skunk, and Vinny the vulture.”

Illusionist Andrew Van Burken and Allyson, who are appearing in a charity variety show at the Auden Theatre, Holt. 
Photo: SUPPLIEDIllusionist Andrew Van Burken and Allyson, who are appearing in a charity variety show at the Auden Theatre, Holt. Photo: SUPPLIED

Fresh from organising a cabaret and variety show to raise funds for a statue of Keith and Orville in the comic’s adopted home town of Blackpool, Steve, who became a member of the show business charity The Grand Order of Water Rats five years ago, has put together a family-friendly production featuring a host of talent.

Hosted by Steve and his ventriloquist dummy sidekick Arthur Lager, the show stars Adele tribute act Helen Ward-Jackson, comedy pianist and Britain’s Got Talent star Kev Orkian, illusionist Andrew Van Buren, Steve Gore and his Magic Family and Norfolk favourite Rollo the clown and his vocalist daughter Lucy and juggler son Tommy Jay.

Rollo the Clown, who is appearing in a charity variety show at the Auden Theatre, Holt.
Photo: SUPPLIEDRollo the Clown, who is appearing in a charity variety show at the Auden Theatre, Holt. Photo: SUPPLIED

Steve, who has performed for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, did a comic turn on Strictly Come Dancing and gave DJ and TV presenter Chris Evans a ventriloquism lesson live on air, said the show promised to provide something for grandchildren, to grandparents and “everything in between.”

“It’s true family entertainment, and I’m really excited about it, particularly because it is for charity,” he said.

The Greatest Show People is at the Auden Theatre, Holt, at 7.30pm on October 20. Tickets, priced £10, are available from the box office on 01263 713444, with all proceeds going to the Grand Order of Water Rats charity.

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