Skipton’s got talent in line up for gala show

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The century old tradition of the Skipton Gala will open with a little prime time television glamour today as a selection of stars from Britain’s Got Talent perform at the annual show.

Martin Crofts, who reached the semi finals of the hit programme with a novelty act of wearing a saucepan on his head while singing as a Dalek, will be joined by fellow semi finalist Graham Blackledge, who played a comedy version of Ritchie Valens’ La Bamba on the organ.

Organisers are also hoping rapper Zipparah Tafari – whose Where me keys, Where me phone? song also got to the semi-finals, will be able to perform, although his attendance has not been confirmed. Paula Moulton whose graceful wheelchair dance act Strictly Wheels was one of highlights of the series, will also be at the Gala.

For Mr Crofts, from Skipton, his opening performance will realise a lifelong ambition of headlining the event. During filming for the show, the 42-year-old father-of-three announced his one hope was to “open Skipton Gala”.

As well as achieving his personal dream, Mr Crofts hopes to raise funds for his nominated cause, the Get Beatrice Mobile fund.

Three-year-old Beatrice Howden, from Whitley, North Yorkshire, was diagnosed with Muscular Atrophy in July 2010 and it costs more than £20,000 a year to pay for the specialist equipment and care that she needs.

Beatrice and her parents Andrew and Amy are also coming to the Gala on Saturday, and Beatrice said she is particularly excited to meet Paula.

Chris Perry, of the Gala committee, said: “It really is quite exciting to have some of the acts that did so well on Britain’s Got Talent. Every year we donate to community projects and local charities, we hope that with the TV acts this year we can raise even more to help those good causes.”

The procession will leave Westmorland Street at noon, touring the town before arriving at the Gala at Aireville Park at around 1.30pm in time for Martyn’s opening performance. Tickets are £2 for adults and £1 for children.