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TV star Simon’s digital date at Rochdale festival

02 February 2017

Simon Gregson.

​​Coronation Street actor Simon Gregson is set to be the star guest at next month's Rochdale Digital Festival.

The popular star, best known for playing the long-running soap's loveable rogue Steve McDonald, will be at the event at Number One Riverside, Rochdale, on Saturday, 4 March 2017, which is aimed at showing how useful, easy and fun to use technology can be.

Simon will swap pulling pints behind the Rovers Return bar to meet festival visitors, as well as have a go at getting to grips with a whole range of technology himself. He'll also be answering questions from fans during a 'Facebook Live' interview at the festival.

Although he has an Amazon Fire tablet, shops online and has over 220,000 followers on the social network Twitter, he says he is looking forward to learning more:

"I've got into the habit of using my tablet for loads of useful things, I tweet most days and I've recently purchased a drone which I'm really into at the moment but I'm definitely not an expert when it comes to new technology. I think there'll be lots to get excited about at Rochdale Digital Festival."

Organised by us, the festival, now in its third year, is designed to improve people's digital skills with hands-on help and advice for all ages. 

Visitors will be able to find out how to do online banking, browse products, shop or read a book online, and get tips on using smartphones and tablets. There will also be demonstrations of how to use the council website to avoid telephone calls or making face-to-face visits. There will be friendly faces on hand to show how easy it can be and tablets, phones and computers will be available for people to try.

Simon joined Coronation Street in 1989 and has been at the centre of an emotionally charged storyline in recent months alongside onscreen wife Michelle Connor (Kym Marsh), depicting the miscarriage of their baby at 23 weeks. 

In 2014 he won a British Soap Award for 'Best Comedy Performer' and won the 'Funniest Male' at the 2013 Inside Soap Awards.

'I tweet most days and I've recently purchased a drone which I'm really into at the moment but I'm definitely not an expert when it comes to new technology' 

The festival will include exhibitions and workshops to help you, and BBC Radio Manchester will be broadcasting live. 

Businesses including Barclays, 02 Rochdale, Boots, and Hopwood Hall College will be there alongside our staff, showing how to browse, buy and use services online, saving you time and money.

There will be friendly faces on hand to show how easy it can be and tablets, phones and computers will be available for people to try.

The festival will bring together a range of exhibitions, performances and workshops and there will also be a 'help-bar' where an 02 'guru' and students will help you get the best from your smartphone and tablet.  (Please bring your smartphone or tablet to the festival.)

There'll be lots for under 18s and families too, including Rochdale Coder Dojo - a self-led community group - supported by skilled mentors to learn computer coding through play with the latest digital kit.  If you've got young children-  look out for 'Hacker tots'-  a play space where they can use 'Little Bits'-  electronic building blocks and 'Scratch', learning code, making fun things and lots of noise!  Girl engineers – 'Robogals' will be also appearing – with their amazing robots, inspiring young women to consider engineering and technology related careers.

A series of FREE Masterclasses for businesses will also be held, revealing tricks of the trade in bite-sized sessions, with topics including internet security and how to build a better website.

Councillor Daalat Ali, our Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods and Community said:

"It's going to be another unmissable day for local residents, helping you do more online, whatever your level. There will be friendly faces on hand to show you step by step, as well as tablets, phones and computers for you to have a go on."

Rochdale Digital Festival is being held as part of Be Online 2017 – a national 2-week campaign to help people discover the internet.

Find out more about the Rochdale Digital Festival.

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