YOUNG entertainers from Bolton will be taking to the stage in front of Coronation Street heart-throb Richard Fleeshman this weekend.

The 16 students from Dawsons Academy of Dance and Stage have been invited to be the curtain-raising act at the Talented Youngsters Of The Year Awards at the Palace Hotel, Manchester, on Saturday.

Five of the students will then go on to compete in the junior and senior sections of the talent contest.

They auditioned against hundreds of hopefuls from across the UK to win their places in the competition.

Up for grabs is £1,000 of prize money and a chance to work with celebrities in the future.

Those taking part are Monique Jacobs, aged 11, Jacobi Bagley, aged 14, Jenna Cartwright and Amy Aldred, both aged 17, and Alex Gaskell, aged 15.

Dawn Dawson, who runs the Academy, in Great Moor Street, Bolton, said: "The organisers came to watch us perform in Bolton and asked us to take part. We were thrilled."

The event is being held to raise cash for Destination Florida, which provides holidays for children with cancer.

The audience is expected to include Richard Fleeshman, who plays Craig Harris in the ITV soap, and former Hear'Say singer Kym Marsh.