Coronation Street actress Julie Hesmondhalgh, who plays Hayley Cropper, and her husband, Shameless writer Ian Kershaw, are launching a creative writing competition in memory of Sophie Lancaster, the young woman who was attacked and killed in a park in 2007 because she was dressed as a goth.
The theme is Difference and the competition is open to state secondary schools in Greater Manchester, East Lancs and Blackburn With Darwen in two age categories: 11 to 13 and 14 to 16-years-old.
Coronation Street's Rosie Webster, played by Helen Flanagan, became a goth in the soap a few years ago. Julie revealed: "Sylvia, was really taken by how much Helen looked like Sophie when she was being a goth in the Street and specifically asked me to ask Helen if she'll be one of the readers on the night of the competition finale. It really struck a chord with her."
The competition launches on March 15 and the judges will include stars and writers of Shameless and Coronation Street, plus This Is England's Vicky McClure and poets Simon Armitage and Mike Garry.