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The 50 most read Manchester stories in 2019


Here’s another chance to read some of our top stories of 2019.

By ‘top’ we mean our most viewed stories of the year plus a few of our personal favourites thrown in for good measure, just in case you missed them first time round.

Think of the list as a cross between The Best Of I Love MCR and I Love MCR’s Greatest Hits. Or, if you prefer, like a big tub of Quality Street, only less sickly, and without the rubbish ones. There are definitely no toffee pennies in our selection. Just purple ones and green triangles. So fill your boots.

Where was Brassic filmed? TV location manager reveals all

Credit @michkeegan

Sky One’s new comedy drama Brassic may be inspired by Joe Gilgun’s experiences growing up in Chorley, but it was filmed in locations across the north west – including Greater Manchester, from Ashton to Bolton via The Star and Garter.

Heart Breakfast duo Joel and Lorna air final show – and fans are heartbroken

Joel Ross and Lorna Bancroft
Credit: Heart FM

Popular radio duo Joel Ross and Lorna Bancroft woke up Manchester for the final time on the Heart North West breakfast show following a huge shake-up of the station which left many listeners unhappy that they were leaving the station.

The Manchester businesswoman who became the first to make £1m on The Apprentice

Iasha Masood
(C) Boundless – Photographer: Ray Burmiston

Remember Aisha Masood, one of the candidates from Manchester on this year’s The Apprentice? She flew under the radar for a while. In fact, she hardly said a word for the first few weeks. Then she became the first ever candidate to lead a team to £1m worth of sales on a task. Then she was fired. C’est la vie.

Remembering Craig Bieszke: Manchester pays tribute to twin who was “life and soul of every party”

Craig Bieszke at Panacea
Craig Bieszke (centre) at Panacea

Tributes poured in after the sudden death of model and club promoter Craig Bieszke, 35, a well-known face on Manchester’s social scene with his identical twin brother Chris.

Emmerdale star Adam Thomas launches his own restaurant in Gatley 

The Spinn Gatley

Former Emmerdale and I’m A Celebrity star Adam Thomas and best friend Scott Graham  transformed a former electrical shop in Gatley into a stylish new restaurant spread over two floors.

The hidden city centre roof terrace with expansive views of Manchester

High up in the sky, on top of one of Manchester’s most secretive buildings, is a stunning roof terrace with expansive views of Manchester.

Manchester parties in the rain at Parklife

Parklife 2019
Credit: Andrew Whitton/Fanatic

Is there any other way to party in Manchester? But the rain couldn’t put a halt to the flamboyant outfits that the Parklife music festival traditionally attracts. Glittery facepaints and hot pants topped with see-through ponchos were the most popular fashions.

16-18 year olds to get free bus travel in Greater Manchester

Our Pass, a £9.3 million two-year pilot scheme largely funded from council tax, was  launched at Bridgewater Hall in July. The scheme offers free bus travel for 16 to 18 year olds, with some claiming that it could change the lives of young people.

Superstars spotted in festive spirit at Manchester Christmas Markets

Christina Aguilera Christmas Markets

Even visiting superstars couldn’t resist the lure of the festive stalls at Manchester’s Christmas Markets. Christina Aguilera, Hollywood actor Neil Patrick Harris and members of girl band Little Mix were all spotted soaking up the atmosphere.

Whatever happened to the Arndale underground market? 

Remember the Arndale underground market, the subterranean shopper’s paradise which boasted 100 market stalls and shops and had three separate entrances? An urban explorer uncovered what’s left of it.

Where is Peaky Blinders filmed? The Manchester locations to look out for in series 5

Photographer: Ben Blackall

Peaky Blinders, the hit BBC drama about gangsters with sharp haircuts, returned to our screens for series five.  The action may be set on the lawless streets of 1920s Birmingham, but many of the scenes were actually filmed in Manchester. Take that, Birmingham.

Below the Manchester nightclub that has hidden luxury bedrooms in its basement

Down in the basement of Manchester Hall, beneath Vanitas the venue’s nightclub, are eight luxurious boutique bedrooms kitted out with some of the finest furnishings. But no need to fret about noise from the nightclub because they’ve been well and truly soundproofed.

Manchester radio breakfast shows axed at Capital, Heart and Smooth as programmes go national

Capital FM

You weren’t happy when plans were unveiled to scrap local breakfast shows at popular stations Capital, Heart and Smooth.

The Trafford Centre Metrolink is complete – this is when trams will start to run

Photo: Chris Bull / TFGM

Trackwork construction on the long-awaited Metrolink line to the Trafford Centre was completed, meaning trams will be arriving in the first half of 2020 – a massive six months early. Never EVER say the trams are always late again.

Heartbroken stars pay tribute to Manchester celebrity hairdresser Scott Meadows

Scott Meadows
Scott Meadows with his House of Evelyn team

Tributes poured in after the sudden death of popular hairdresser-to-the-stars Scott Meadows. Scott, 31, was a well known face at the House of Evelyn beauty salon in Manchester city centre and counted scores of celebrities as his friends and clients.

Mana gets Manchester’s first Michelin star in over 40 years 

Mana might not be from heaven, but it must be pretty close because it was awarded Manchester’s first Michelin star in over 40 years.

The Northern Soul scene is bigger than ever – 46 years after the first Wigan Casino all-nighter

Monday 23rd September was the 46th anniversary of the first Northern Soul all-nighter at Wigan Casino. The records, always expensive and collectable, now fetch a king’s ransom, especially on the Japanese market.

40 years of Manchester Arndale – how the iconic shopping centre has changed 

Colour coded areas in the Manchester Arndale

Manchester Arndale turned 40 this year. It has witnessed huge changes and devastating moments and remains the region’s busiest shopping mall, with an estimated 40 million visitors every year. We took a trip down Market Way and memory lane.

Jeremy Clarkson sings the praises of the Manchester hotel where he stayed 

Jeremy Clarkson loves cars. But when it comes to hotels, he isn’t easily impressed. In fact, he positively hates them. Which is why he caused a bit of a stir when he said how impressed he was by the hotel where he stayed when he visited Manchester.

This Manchester library has been rated one of the most beautiful in Europe

John Rylands Library. Photo: Jennifer Boyer via Flickr

John Rylands is the most beautiful ‘old-school’ library in Europe, according to Google reviews – the only UK library to make the list. Who could possibly disagree?

Stock Exchange Manchester reveals name and menus for new restaurant by Michelin starred Tom Kerridge

We spoke to chef Tom Kerridge before the opening of the Stock Exchange, the hotel that’s been called ‘Manchester’s ultimate luxury bolthole’.

Manchester’s quirkiest pubs – the smallest, the biggest, the converted loos and more

We took a look at some of the quirkiest pubs in Manchester, whether it’s because of their size, their age, their unusual history or setting.

This Cheshire pub was named the best in the UK at national awards

Talking of pubs, The Church Inn in Mobberley was named best in the UK at the National Pub & Bar Awards – and the chef picked up the award for pub chef of the year.

Corrie stars party at Katie McGlynn’s leaving bash 

Katie McGlynn leaving party Mahiki
credit: Emma Wilson

It was party time for Coronation Street actress Katie McGlynn as she held her leaving bash with cast and crew at a Manchester club.

Where is the Real Housewives of Cheshire filmed? 

The Real Housewives of Cheshire series 10
(C) Monkey Kingdom

The Real Housewives of Cheshire returned for a tenth series, with dramas unfolding in a variety of fabulous settings in some of Cheshire and Manchester’s hottest hotspots.

The best sunny spots in Manchester where you can actually get a seat

If you’re looking for hotspots on those rare occasions when the sun decides to peep out from behind the clouds, we found some places where you can raise your glass and actually find a seat.

Cast of The Lost Boys come to Manchester for epic reunion

Who knew The Lost Boys, the 1987 American horror comedy film starring Corey Haim, Jason Patric and Kiefer Sutherland, has a huge cult following? We didn’t – until we published this story and it got zillions of views.

This iPhone photo of Manchester rain went down a storm and sold out of prints

If Lowry was around today, he would definitely have been impressed by this stunning image captured on an iPhone by photographer Simon Buckley. May he dine out on it for the next ten years.

Inside Manchester’s hidden Chinatown trainer store where rare pieces cost up to £6,000

A limited, executive-level ‘friends and family’ release of Para’s Nike Airmax 1 collab at Sneaker63

Hidden underneath a sushi shop in Manchester’s Chinatown is a little known store selling trainers so rare they’re attracting customers from all across Europe and even America.

This is the place: Wilmslow isn’t just fast cars, flash houses and footballers wives

The most read piece in our series This is the Place was about this Cheshire town with a reputation for fast cars and fake tans.

The best wild swimming spots in and around Manchester

When the temperature’s rising in Manchester and you need to cool down and the fountains in Piccadilly Gardens just won’t do, these are the places to head to …

What’s Manchester’s favourite restaurant and most loved dish? We asked – and you told us

We wanted to know which restaurants are REALLY Manchester’s favourites. So we asked our readers to tell us their favourite restaurants and their most loved dish. And they did.

Mr Manchester City Vincent Kompany donates proceeds of his testimonial match to homeless

Pic Mike Serigrapher Commons

Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany promised the money raised at his testimonial would go to the homeless charity he set up.

A new sneaker store stocking super rare and sought after trainer collections is coming to the NQ

Typical. You wait ages for a trainer store to come along then two come along at the same time.

What happened when I walked down Market Street in Manchester and said yes to everything

Dianne Bourne on Market Street

Ever wondered what would happen if you walked down Market Street and said yes to everything you were offered? Dianne Bourne decided to try it and lived to tell the tale.

This is the place: Chorlton is the Guardian-reading liberal heart of Manchester

Chorlton is known for its organic delis, independent bars and restaurants, sustainable lifestyle stores, wholesome community spirit and Guardian readers.

This is the place: Monton has a colourful community vibe and café bar buzz

Move over M20. M30 is in the building. With tongue firmly in cheek, Monton has not only been compared to the French Riviera – it’s affectionately known by locals as Monton Carlo – but has also recently been tipped to be ‘the new Didsbury’ and ‘the new Burton Road’.

Friends Central Perk cafe opened and it was better than we could’ve dreamed of

The one where Central Perk cafe off Friends opened in Primark on Market Street. And it looked even better than we could’ve imagined.

Whatever happened to Gordon the Moron – the man who inspired a punk cult classic?

Once upon a time in Manchester, a long, long time ago – well 1978 actually – two Manchester students had a massive hit record and were on Top of the Pops. Jilted John turned into John Shuttleworth. But whatever happened to Gordon the Moron?

Inside Manchester’s new ultra-luxurious picture house

Ultra-luxurious boutique picture house Everyman Cinema opened on the site of the Old Granada Studios building on Quay Street. Inside what was once office space are now three extremely comfortable and elegant screening rooms, plus a large lounge, bar and kitchen.

Manchester artist Stanley Chow on city pride, football rivalry and where to get the best chips in town

Manchester artist Stanley Chow’s instantly recognisable work has gained international acclaim, seeing him collaborate with pop stars, win awards and adorn walls the world over.

Timothy Spall on playing Lowry, filming in Stockport, and why his own paintings are on display in Salford

Having played artist JMW Turner in 2014’s Mr Turner, actor Timothy Spall picked up his paintbrushes again to play Salford artist LS Lowry in Mrs Lowry & Son. We met up with the actor at – where else? – The Lowry Hotel on the eve of the film’s gala premiere at – yes, you guessed – The Lowry Theatre. It doesn’t get more Lowry than this.

Inside the Manchester comedy club that helped launch Peter Kay, Johnny Vegas and Jack Whitehall 

Manchester’s famous Frog and Bucket Comedy Club celebrated its 25th anniversary this year and marked the occasion with a party. We spoke to founder David Perkin about the famous faces who’ve graced the stage and what the future holds.

Meet the Whalley Range photojournalist whose pictures help save lives around the world

Photo: Sean Sutton

Whalley Range photojournalist Sean Sutton has worked for Manchester-based Nobel Peace Prize-winning charity Mines Advisory Group for more than 20 years, documenting the damage that landmines do.

15 years of San Carlo: Marcello Distefano on a brand born in Manchester

Family-run restaurant San Carlo celebrated 15 years in Manchester this year. We spoke to managing director Marcello Distefano about how the brand has grown, his favourite memories, and why he loves Manchester.

24-hour pottery people: the Salford man proving ceramics is the new rock ‘n’ roll

Throughout the Madchester scene of the late 80s, Ian Wild worked as a sound engineer for the Stone Roses, Happy Mondays, James, World of Twist, Inspiral Carpets and others. These days, he spends most of his time creating hand thrown pots fired to stoneware temperatures.

Inside Murrays’ Mills – one of Manchester’s most historic buildings

One of Manchester’s most important historic buildings is taking on a new lease of life. The world’s oldest steam-powered cotton mill has been painstakingly renovated to become one of the city’s most in-demand residential apartment complexes.

How acclaimed Manchester street artist AkseP19 is changing the face of the city

You can’t move for large scale murals, pasted posters, throw-ups, tags and stickers all over Manchester. One artist in particular has generated quite the cult following for himself, painting huge photo-realistic portraits of pop culture icons in prime locations across the city.

Zippy Santa makes shock comeback at NEW Manchester location

Ever wondered what became of Zippy, Manchester’s very own Santa who presided over the Christmas markets in Albert Square for 12 years until he was retired by the council? He turned up at Kellogg’s in Old Trafford, that’s what.

Is this cheeky TfGM travel information message the best one yet?

If you drive in or around Manchester, you’ll know what it’s like being stuck in traffic. TfGM’s information boards make those traffic jams a bit more bearable. We thought this message was the best one yet.

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