PHOTOS: Ukelele player takes 2015 Grab title

Musical maestro Lewis Bowes brought the house down with his one man Ukelele show to lift the 2015 Grab title, the Ribble Valley’s inter-schools talent show.

The 15-year-old from Clitheroe Royal Grammar School wowed the audience at the town’s Grand Theatre with his cover of the song, “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”, originally composed by George Harrison, to land the £700 first prize.

Grab 2015  winner Lewis Bowes. (s)

Grab 2015 winner Lewis Bowes. (s)

Lewis, from Whalley, began playing the Ukelele aged 12, and said: “I self-taught myself watching You Tube videos.

“I got interested when I saw a film on television with Ukelele music used as a background track, ‘Tiptoe through the Tulips’ by Tiny Tim.

“I’ve seen a lot of George Formby, who played the Banjolele, and it has just become this great passion in my life.”

The new Grab champ added: “I’m so pleased to win this competition – it is a great honour.

“I hope the audience enjoyed listening to the song as much as I enjoyed playing it to them.”

Grab judge, actress Lindsey Dawson, who has appeared in “Shameless”, “Emmerdale” and “Coronation Street”, told Lewis: “Wow. Wow. Wow. Your playing was just so cool and bang on the money. I could have listened to Lewis play all night he was so good.”

Callum and Millie, in their final year at Bowland High School, landed the second prize with their dance and stage routine. Singing duo Georgia and Eliza, who attend Ribblesdale High School, were third. Acoustic guitarist Beth Ferguson, who goes to Bowland High School and was the 2014 runner-up, was fourth.

Last year’s champions – rock band Fret 64 – and also from Bowland High, proved a massive hit with the packed auditorium as they returned to the Grand to perform 12 months after lifting the big prize.

The audience also saw a clip of the documentary film, Rights of a Child, showing how the Grand’s Solomon Project charity is saving lives in Africa.

Steven Lancaster, the Grand’s director, said: “Grab raises vital funds for the Solomon Project and helps feeds thousands of children every day.”

He added: “It was inspiring to see so much incredible performing talent from the Ribble Valley and they should all be very proud indeed.”

Steered by the Grand’s High School Forum members, with support from venue and school’s staff, Grab 2015 will see charities, Starlight, Every Action Has Consequences and the Solomon Project, all benefit from money raised by the event. Grab was kindly supported by Community Foundation for Lancashire.

●Join the Grand for a special red carpet evening to celebrate the Grab stars of 2015 next month.

There will be live performances from the finalists and a special awards ceremony.

In partnership with the Clitheroe Lions, the Grabby’s will be staged at the Grand on March 14th and will raise money for charitable causes. Adults £14, Under-18 £8. Box office: 01200 421599.