WHEN Prestwich chef Mary-Ellen McTague was asked to DJ at a club night, she jumped at the chance.

Then, like many who have gone before her and agreed to grace the decks at Bop Local in Prestwich, panic set in at the thought of the impending DJ debut.

Mary-Ellen, who runs Aumbry, in Church Lane, is hoping preparation will be the key to a fun night, packed with great music, at Heaton Park Sports & Social Bar, Bury Old Road, on Saturday, August 23.

She said: “I thought about it for about 10 seconds and I was just like, yes definitely, sounds fun.
“And then panic began afterwards.

“I’ve not done anything like this before.

“My friends have found it quite funny because when they come round and I’m picking the music, it always takes me hours to find what I want to listen to.

“I’m going to prepare for this one.

“I’ve got a huge list of songs that I want to play, all sorts — disco, ‘70s rock, a bit of ‘90s R ‘n’ B and hip hop.

“I like everything, there’s not a particular genre, anything that’s good.”

In previous months, Bop Local’s guest DJs have included Coronation Street’s Ian Puleston-Davies and Jennie McAlpine, as well as their former co-star Julie Hesmondhalgh.

Organisers say they are delighted to have landed Bury-born Mary-Ellen as a guest DJ, who can usually be found in the kitchen of the award-winning Aumbry with chef husband Laurence Tottingham.

The mother-of-two, who has appeared on the BBC’s Great British Menu, said: “It’s going to be lots of fun.

“I usually work on a Saturday night so I don’t have chance to go.

“But I’ve got friends who have been and say it’s a really good night.

“I know they always get a really good crowd.

“They’ve got a good following.

“I’m really excited, very happy.”

There will be an extra reason to celebrate as Mary-Ellen will celebrate her 36th birthday at the Bop Local bash.

She said: “It’s my birthday so that’s that taken care of, nice and easy.”

Aside from Aumbry, which has been shortlisted for Restaurant of the Year at the upcoming Manchester Food and Drink Festival Awards, family life and now picking the perfect playlist, Mary-Ellen is also writing her first book — anecdotes from her time working in restaurants.

The former St Gabriel's RC High School pupil, who grew up in Greenmount, said: “I’ve been working on it. It’s going to take a long time.

“I do a column for the Guardian now, that takes up a lot of time.”

Bop Local tickets are available from Pinto’s, Fairfax Road, Prestwich, or visit ticketline.co.uk.