MTV to 'pimp up' university ball

Teesside University is to have its summer ball ‘pimped up’ by MTV. It clinched the prize after 'tweeting' two millions times.

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County Durham musician in the finals for arena gig

by Rachel Sweeney
Apollo Art Credit: Richard Smedley

An indie-pop musician from Country Durham could have the chance to perform in front of 10,000 people as he prepares for the finals of The Big Audition 2014. Richard Smedley, 25, is a session musician and songwriter. He will be taking part in the talent contest at Newcastle College on May 1.

If he wins, Richard will play Metro Radio Live at the arena in November - a show known for bringing top chart acts to the region. He has described the opportunity as 'the show of a lifetime'.

Richard said, 'For me, nothing beats the feeling of gigging. To be able to play for so many people in a place so close to my heart, would multiply that in a way that is hard to imagine... There's a real buzz in the North East and an incredible amount of musical talent, discovered and undiscovered.'

Museum wins award for wheelchair access

The National Railway Museum in Shildon is the most accessible attraction for disabled people, according to research by the charity Vitalise.

The National Railway Museum in County Durham is one of the most accessible in the UK

The venue has topped a list of over 80 attractions across England and Wales for wheelchair access, toilets, parking and other facilities.


AC/DC guitarist Malcolm Young 'too ill to play live'

Malcolm Young (far left) with AC/DC bandmates Cliff Williams, Angus Young and Brian Johnson Credit: Suzan/Suzan/EMPICS Entertainment

AC/DC guitarist Malcolm Young is "unable to perform any more" due to illness, according to a friend of the musician.

Mark Gable, the frontman with fellow Australian group Choirboys, claimed that Young "will probably not be able to record" any more.

AC/DC have been fronted by Gateshead-born singer Brian Johnson since 1980.

The band has sold more than 200 million albums worldwide.

There had been rumours that AC/DC might perform at Newcastle's St James' Park this year as part of a tour to mark the band's 40th anniversary.

It is unclear whether the tour will now go ahead.

However, music magazine Billboard has said there is "no truth" to rumours that AC/DC will be forced to retire.


Fan serenaded by Gary Barlow for naming son after him

Claire Douglas selfie with Gary Barlow
Claire Douglas took this selfie on stage with Gary Barlow, who sang A Million Love Songs to her

A woman was serenaded by Gary Barlow in front of 10,000 fans after telling him she had named her baby son after him.

Claire Douglas was selected from the crowd in Newcastle and allowed up on stage after the singer spotted her banner, which read: 'I love you that much my baby son is called Barlow!'

Her son is called William Robert Barlow Jamie Douglas.

Claire's banner said: "I love you that much my baby son is called Barlow"
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