Close this search box.

Will Mellor and Gemma Atkinson are proudly uniting to co-host I Love MCR Awards 2023

Hailing from Greater Manchester, Will Mellor and Gemma Atkinson have come together to co-host the first I Love Manchester Awards show

Will Mellor and Gemma Atkinson have now been announced as official co-hosts of the I Love Manchester Awards 2023

Best known for his roles as Jambo in Hollyoaks and Gaz in Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps, Will Mellor is a household name for his distinct northern charm and warts and all humour.

Mellor has also done a lot of work for children and charity including winning the first series of BBC singing contest Comic Relief does Fame Academy; a stint on children’s television channel CBeebies, in which he read books for the audience; and he continuously raises awareness for young people’s causes on his own social media channels.

The Stockport-born actor most recently competed in the last series of the glitz and glam show Strictly Come Dancing and is looking forward to bringing his experience to the stage of the very first I Love Manchester Awards show in November 2023.

Announcing his involvement as the first host of the mega Manchester awards event, he said:


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Will Mellor (@willmellor76)

“As a proud northerner, I can’t think of any way better than to be on stage celebrating these amazing people in the fantastic communities that make Manchester great,” says Will Mellor.

“I will be there on the night and I’ll look forward to seeing you there.”

Since bursting onto the scene and our tellies with her award-winning acting roles in Hollyoaks and Emmerdale back in the day, Gemma Atkinson has become a household name for not just her TV presence but her approachable northern charm and down-to-earth but sparkling personality.

Gemma first gained national recognition as Lisa Hunter in Hollyoaks and BBC’s Casualty before taking her acting career to new heights to play Carly Hope in Emmerdale and become one of the most popular characters on the ITV soap, which led to her first NTA nomination for ‘Best Newcomer’. 

From there, the Bury-born star landed Strictly Come Dancing in 2017 and has gone on to present for Steph’s Packed Lunch and The Toddler Club and is the co-host on the ‘Drivetime’ show on Hits Radio. 

Today, with over 1.9 million followers on instagram, Gemma continuously works with brands that align with her ethos and passions, such as, Symprove, All Plants, Holland & Barrett as well as household names such as Indesit, eBay, Vodafone, Purina, Hamleys, SKY, Reebok, Morrisons and now I Love MCR. 

Atkinson is also a published author with her health and wellness books ‘The Ultimate Body Plan’ and ‘The Ultimate Body Plan for New Mums” as well as having successful clothing collections with In The Style. Gemma and her partner Gorka Marquez (Strictly Come dancing star) have just launched their new three-part series with W and UKTV, Gemma and Gorka: Life Behind The Lens.

Gemma (and Gorka) has done plenty of charity work including visited Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital to officially open a newly enhanced Teenage Cancer Trust Bone Marrow Transplant treatment room.

Announcing her involvement as the first host of the mega Manchester awards event, she said:


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by I Love Manchester (@ilovemanchester)

“I’m so so chuffed this year along with the wonderful Will Mellor to present the I Love Manchester Awards.

“I cannot think of anything better than being on stage celebrating all the people of Manchester, all the communities in Manchester – I think you’re all fab already – I cannot wait to see you there on the night. So make sure you get involved!”

The official I Love MCR Awards event celebrates Manchester’s unique sense of civic pride with a contemporary show and ceremony that evokes our brand values.

I Love MCR is a platform that has championed extraordinary people and organisations and empowered communities within our fair city region for over a decade, and has built up enough reputation and credibility to create a meaningful ceremony.

What’s more, every penny donated towards the night and raised through the raffle hosted by Happy Radio’s Darren Proctor will go directly to the I Love MCR Foundation (you can donate here)

Special guests include the Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham and The Lord Mayor of Manchester, Yasmin Dar; as well as a panel of influential judges Tom Bloxham, Dave Haslam, Diane Modahl, Carl Austin-Behan, David Scott, Terry Christian, Stanley Chow, Ric Moylan, Emma McBeath, Paul Shannon, Gwen Jones, Jenny Osbourne, Darren Proctor, Michelle Eagleton, and Jacqueline Hughes-Lundy.

Nominations closed at 5pm on Friday (1 Sep). The panel are currently compiling nominations that meet the respected criteria and the shortlist will be announced on 18 September 2023 before it is released for public voting.

The event has been made possible with the help of partners ConnectIn Events and official sponsors AO ArenaHilton Manchester TeppanyakiPalace Theatre & Opera HouseJulie Twist Properties, and Happy Radio

This is an inclusive event so, it’s with a special thanks to our sponsors, that we’re able to offer nominated charities, community groups, disabled people and carers complimentary tickets* to the contemporary show and ceremony taking place at the epic new venue Diecast Manchester on 23 November 2023. Because of the sponsors, the following inspiring individuals and organisations have the opportunity to be celebrated and formally acknowledged on stage in front of circa. 800 good people…

Tickets and Tables

The I Love MCR Awards is billed to be the biggest Manchester awards event the city has ever seen.

The awards show will be taking place at epic new venue Diecast Manchester located in Piccadilly South with transport links by train or car with parking available. 

This will be a night that will live forever…

Tickets and tables are available online here

Free tickets available

While it would be a special honour for the winners to be formally acknowledged and celebrated on stage at the live event, we appreciate that not everyone is able to afford the ticket prices to attend.

Sticking to our brand values whatever the cost, we have a provision in place to offer all shortlisted charities, community organisations, disabled people and carers complimentary tickets* and discount on tables** to attend including dinner, souvenirs and live entertainment.

Terms and conditions
*One free ticket per registered charity, registered community interest company (CIC), registered disabled person and carer (under the Equality Act).
**10% discount and Zero VAT invoices apply to registered charities only.
If you are shortlisted and wish to claim your free ticket, you must declare your registration details via email to: [email protected]

Did we miss something? Let us know: [email protected]

Want to be the first to receive all the latest news stories, what’s on and events from the heart of Manchester? Sign up here.


Manchester is a successful city, but there are many people that suffer. The I Love MCR Foundation helps raise vital funds to help improve the lives and prospects of people and communities across Greater Manchester – and we can’t do it without your help. So please donate or fundraise what you can because investing in your local community to help it thrive can be a massively rewarding experience. Thank you in advance!

Got a story worth sharing?

What’s the story? We are all ears when it comes to positive news and inspiring stories. You can send story ideas to [email protected]

Close this search box.