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Lion King musical in North East for the first time

The hit musical the Lion King is in the North East for the first time since the production started in the UK 15 years ago.

The Sunderland Empire will be home to the show until November 1.

But recreating the story of Simba and the Pride for the stage wasn't easy:


  • 37,000 HOURS were spent by designers making the puppets and masks.
  • 700 COSTUMES AND PROPS are used every night.
  • 232 PUPPETS are in the show, including rod puppets and full-sized ones.
  • 140 PEOPLE work on every performance.
  • 18-FOOT GIRAFFES are the tallest puppets and appear in 'I Just Can't Wait To Be King!"
  • 13-FOOT - that's how big the Elephant is. It needs four actors to carefully walk her down the aisle.
  • 23 LORRIES were needed to get the set, costumes and puppets to Sunderland.
  • 75 MILLION PEOPLE have now seen the production all over the world.

ITV News Tyne Tees were invited behind the scenes to see the finished result.


Appeals to help trace 'vulnerable' South Milford woman

Rachel Hamilton Credit: North Yorkshire Police

Police are appealing for the public’s help to locate a woman who has been reported missing from home.

Rachel Hamilton, aged 20, was reported missing from her address in South Milford at around 4pm today, Tuesday 23rd September.

Rachel is vulnerable and officers are concerned for her safety.

Members of the public are urged to keep an eye out for Rachel and report any sightings of her or anyone matching her description.

Rachel is described as white, 5ft 6in tall, with dark curly hair. When she was last seen she was wearing a red Coca-Cola t-shirt, blue denim jeans and zebra print Converse trainers.

Stockton man named as body found in sea search

The RNLI says the tragic death of a man who went into the sea to try to rescue his dog should serve as a warning.

The man has been named as 32-year-old Alex Hardy from Stockton. He was walking with his partner and their two dogs in the Hendon area of Sunderland when he went into the water after one of the animals. His body was recovered earlier today.

Kenny Toal reports from the scene of the tragedy:

Vehicle on fire on the A1 northbound near Gosforth

Motorists are being warned of delays on the A1 near Gosforth after officers attended a vehicle which was on fire.

At around 4:45pm today, Tuesday, 23rd September, police received reports of a vehicle on fire on the A1 northbound near the Gosforth Park turn off.

Officers attended the scene where the car was found to be alight. The fire was extinguished by the fire service. No-one was injured.

The vehicle has now been removed from the road which is fully open and traffic moving, but motorists are being advised to expect delays as a result of it.


Dinky toys sell on Teesside for £165,000

A rare collection of Dinky toys were auctioned on Teesside today.

The cars, which came from a single owner, date from the 1930s to the 1970s.

The entire collection sold for £165,000 with the highest individual toy being bought for £6,000.

Andrew Reed, at Vectis Auctions, says they fetched a lot of money because they hold emotional significance for people.

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