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Britain's Got Talent singer, who reduced Amanda Holden to tears, stole £20,000 of theatre cash

James Edgington, 39, who starred in the 2010 series of the ITV talent show alongside his father Graham, illegally stole 'over' £19,000 to help fund his organisation, the Bolton Pride Charity.  Here he is pictured outside Bolton Crown Court

A former Britain’s Got Talent semi-finalist who brought Amanda Holden to tears at a concert has stolen nearly £20,000 in cash to fund his gay rights charity.

James Edgington, 39, who starred in the 2010 series of the ITV talent show alongside his father Graham, illegally sold free tickets to a solo show by Lord of the Rings star Sir Ian McKellen and also diverted profits from other productions to his own. Account.

He was surprised when a colleague of his at Albert Halls in Bolton, Greater Manchester, discovered the hall’s float was £737 short.

It later emerged the singer and actor had entered the vault seven times to steal float money and bogus invoices from producers for £16,539.

James Edgington, 39, who starred in the 2010 series of the ITV talent show alongside his father Graham, illegally stole 'over' £19,000 to help fund his organisation, the Bolton Pride Charity.  Here he is pictured outside Bolton Crown Court

James Edgington, 39, who starred in the 2010 series of the ITV talent show alongside his father Graham, illegally stole ‘over’ £19,000 to help fund his organisation, the Bolton Pride Charity. Here he is pictured outside Bolton Crown Court

Edgington and his father rose to fame when they brought Mrs Holden to tears by singing their version of This is the Moment from the musical Jekyll and Hyde.

The court heard that some of the stolen money came from ticket purchases.

Inquiries have revealed Edgington took a further £2,485 by illegally selling 71 free tickets he acquired for Sir McKellen’s show on the black market.

The solo exhibition at the concert hall in 2019 marked the actor’s 80th birthday. The illegally sold tickets cost £35 each when they should have been reserved for VIP guests free of charge.

Council officials later claimed the total amount missing following an audit was £20,187, although Edgington insisted the amount he stole was ‘greater’ than £19,000.

Edgington and his father rose to fame when they brought Amanda Holden to tears singing their version of This is the Moment from the musical Jekyll and Hyde in the 2010 series of ITV talent show Britain's Got Talent

Edgington and his father rose to fame when they brought Amanda Holden to tears singing their version of This is the Moment from the musical Jekyll and Hyde in the 2010 series of ITV talent show Britain’s Got Talent

Edgington, who lives in Tonge Moor, Bolton, used the money to support a fundraising deal with his Bolton Pride Charity which was founded in 2015 and supported by Sir McKellen and Coronation Street actor Antony Cotton.

The singer avoided prison when he was sentenced to 10 months’ imprisonment, suspended for 12 months, at Bolton Crown Court.

He will have to repay £16,539 as compensation to Bolton council and was ordered to perform 200 hours of unpaid work after pleading guilty to fraud, attempted fraud and theft.

Edgington, who also appeared in the hit ITV series Downton Abbey, currently works as a programming manager at Cumbrian theater The Coro, where he earns £2,000 a month.

Duncan Wilcock, prosecuting, said the scam took place between February 2019 and April 2021 when Edgington worked as the theater and events programs co-ordinator at the 670-seat Victorian concert hall, which hosts comedy, dance, musical and pantomime performances.

Edgington (right) pictured with Sir Ian McKellen (middle) and Coronation Street Star Antony Cotton (left) at the launch of his LGBTQ rights charity, Bolton Pride, in 2015. He also stole £2,485 in illegally selling 71 tickets for Sir McKellen's solo show on the black market

Edgington (right) pictured with Sir Ian McKellen (middle) and Coronation Street Star Antony Cotton (left) at the launch of his LGBTQ rights charity, Bolton Pride, in 2015. He also stole £2,485 in illegally selling 71 tickets for Sir McKellen’s solo show on the black market

As part of his role, he was tasked with coordinating with producers and chasing up external billing, but his downfall began in March 2021, when fellow Albert Hall employee Elaine Gattrick performed the audit. from the year-end register and discovered three bags. , which contained the venue tanks were missing a total of £737.

The venue then launched a formal investigation into the theft, which focused on the workers who had accessed the safe and discovered that Edgington had opened it seven times without permission.

After being confronted, the actor admitted the theft and was suspended after formal disciplinary action was taken against him.

The father and son duo have qualified for the semi-finals of the talent competition.  Edgington avoided prison after being sentenced to 10 months in prison, suspended for 12 months

The father and son duo have qualified for the semi-finals of the talent competition. Edgington avoided prison after being sentenced to 10 months in prison, suspended for 12 months

As part of the investigation, the council sought an order to access Edgington’s work emails and it was found that he had credited unpaid invoices from outside event producers to his own bank account, rather than the council-run venue – even using the concert hall header to fake votes.

Edgington resigned from his post in August last year and volunteered for a police interview in which he insisted: ‘I can pay him back tomorrow’.

In mitigation, defense barrister Nick Ross said the theft of the float’s money was purely for personal gain, and he has since refunded £600 of the total £737, but added: ‘He was under huge financial pressure and at the time needed to fund the Pride charity which he ran due to the withdrawal of a major sponsor which left the charity with £15,000 less.

The singer's father, Graham Edgington, pictured in attendance

The singer’s father, Graham Edgington, pictured in attendance

“He took out a personal loan to fund Pride, but the stolen funds were then used to fill gaps in finances at the time.”

Mr Ross said Edgington’s grandmother had also fallen ill and added: “He suffered from poor judgment and, in his own words, ‘took his eyes off the ball’.

“His behavior can be attributed to him trying to sort everything out on his own.

“There was nothing clever, nothing sophisticated about it. He handled things in a very stupid and naive way. He has a hitherto unimpeachable character.

“It was his own pride that kept him from asking for help. It’s a cliché isn’t it, that pride comes before a fall, well that was his pride and today is his fall.’

The court heard that Edgington suffered from depression and was taking medication for anxiety. Testimonials on his behalf said he “promotes diversity and inclusion in the Bolton area” and that, according to family and friends, he would “do anything for anyone”.

Edgington will have to repay £16,539 as compensation to Bolton council and was ordered to perform 200 hours of unpaid work after pleading guilty to fraud, attempted fraud and theft

Edgington will have to repay £16,539 as compensation to Bolton council and was ordered to perform 200 hours of unpaid work after pleading guilty to fraud, attempted fraud and theft

Sentencing the judge, Mr Recorder Nicholas Williams told Edgington: “These actions were not only improper, but completely dishonest and you abused your position of power and trust.”

“It was not an isolated moment or a moment of madness, but a sustained drive over a period of time.”

Edgington, who was interested in the performing arts from an early age, earned a degree in drama from Manchester Metropolitan University.

He previously raised over £100,000 for good causes and also founded a charity called Jen, after his late mother Jennifer, which helps widowed fathers deal with bereavement. Jennifer died in a traffic accident when Edgington was four years old while in the car.

Edgington himself was raised by a single father, Graham, who appeared with him on Britain’s Got Talent in 2010.

After the case, a spokesperson for Bolton Council said: ‘Council has a zero tolerance policy towards fraud or any action which misappropriates valuable local ratepayer resources.’

“Appropriate action was taken as soon as council became aware of this issue. We have fully supported Greater Manchester Police in their investigation and would like to thank them for their work on this case.

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