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Whitley Bay's Playhouse celebrates 5 year anniversary

Friday, 12th September marks the five year anniversary since the re-opening of the Playhouse in Whitley Bay.

Since re-opening, the Playhouse has hosted 533 productions and seen over 350,000 customers pass through its glass doors.

From opening show The Stones, Playhouse has hosted a mix of local theatre alongside acts such as Elkie Brooks, Bob Geldof, Ken Dodd, Joe McElderry and Lenny Henry.

Credit: The Playhouse in Whitley Bay

Since re-opening the first five years have been rather busy and we are so pleased to see the venue being widely used by the local community from amdram societies to dance schools.

We look forward to the next five years putting on a diverse programme of events, with something for everyone from North Tyneside and the surrounding areas. I am most looking forward to Tim Vine in April next year, it's almost sold out and will be a fantastic show for Whitley Bay!

– Sophie Flanagan, Playhouse

North East X Factor contestants 'in it to win it'

Already North East acts are shining through on The X Factor. Two of these acts are Kerrianne Covell from Norton and Geoff Mull from Durham.

Kerrianne is 23 and currently works in a shoe shop. She ditched work to attend her audition and Simon Cowell called her boss to ensure she didn't get the boot! Kerrianne won a competition to support chart acts at the Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle. She had the taste of stardom she doesn't want to let go of.

Kerrianne Covell

"It was the craziest feeling in the world, to be stood on the 'X' singing to four amazing judges! I felt like I'd just walked into the television thinking is this really happening!"

– Kerrianne Covell

Geoff Mull is a 22-year-old electrician who previously made it to Boot Camp. Louis likened Geoff to Wayne Rooney and Geordie Judge Cheryl Fernandez-Versini said 'I love him!'

Geoff doesn't plan on leaving the show without a record deal this time.

Geoff Mull

"I've waited 5/6 years for this to happen, it's everything I've always wanted and been working hard for! It would be great for the region if I won. I'm just a normal lad with a dream, and now it's time to go out and make my dream a reality."

– Geoff Mull


Millionth runner returns to hospice where it all began

Tracey Cramond at Butterwick Hospice Care Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

Tracey Cramond has returned to Butterwick Hospice Care, the charity she ran the Great North Run for when she became the millionth finisher.

Tracey, from Darlington, said she was "gobsmacked and totally shocked" to become the first millionth runner to finish an event of its kind.

She was presented with a special award by Lord Coe, a few minutes after crossing the finishing line at South Shields yesterday (Sunday, 7th September).

Tracey was running in support of the Butterwick Hospice in memory of her mother, Lynn Liddell, who died last year.

Millionth Great North Runner shocked at her luck

An NHS worker from Darlington has expressed her shock at being the Great North Run's millionth finisher.

I'm never usually lucky at anything. I never win anything: bingo tickets, raffles, the lottery. So for me to be the millionth runner and represent the one million runners that have gone before, it is incredible. I'm still in shock.

– Tracy Crammond, Millionth finisher


Millionth runner hailed at the finishing line

Tracey Cramond with Lord Coe and the Great North Run founder, Brendan Foster CBE Credit: North News & Pictures Ltd

Tracey Cramond, who was running for the Butterwick Hospice in memory of her mother, was named as the millionth runner to take part in the event.

She said that as she crossed the finish line, "I heard a bang go off behind me...and then I got mobbed!"

Tracey was presented with a special award by Lord Coe.

Millionth Runner named as Tracey Cramond

One in a million: Tracey Cramond named as the millionth runner to take part in the event since it began Credit: North News & Pictures Ltd

Tracey Cramond from Darlington said she was "gobsmacked and totally shocked" to become the millionth person to complete the Great North Run.

She was presented with a special award by Lord Coe, a few minutes after crossing the finishing line at South Shields.

Tracey was running this year in support of the Butterwick Hospice in memory of her mother, Lynn Liddell, as she explained in her fundraising page online:

Last year I lost the most precious person a daughter could have, my Mom. I will be running in her memory to raise funds for a truly remarkable charity who do so much for so many. I will be the legs my Mom did not and will never have, because she is the wind beneath my wings.

– Tracey Cramond

After the run, Tracey thanked the supporters who cheered everyone along the way:

It was incredibly hot today, I think a lot of runners have struggled, I did struggle today too...the crowd this year were phenomenal, they have really done us proud. You get to a point where you're feeling really low, and then all of a sudden there's this spurt of enthusiasm from the sidelines, so you just keep going, it's amazing.

– Tracey Cramond

Ant and Dec: 'It's great to be home'

Ant and Dec are back on home soil and will tonight play in front of a packed Metro Arena. The Geordie duo are in the middle of a nationwide tour of their Saturday Night Takeaway show.

They grew up just a stone's throw from the arena but this will be the first time they have played there.

Kenny Toal was there at rehearsals:

Chesney Hawkes joins Ant & Dec for Takeaway filming

Chesney Hawkes rehearsing ahead of Ant & Dec's Takeaway on Tour filming Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

Ant & Dec are bringing their award winning ITV show, 'Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway', to their home town of Newcastle for spectacular live shows which will take place tonight (Friday, 5th September) and over the weekend.

Never one to disappoint, the Geordie boys are adding celebrity friends Alan Shearer, Chesney Hawkes and Tony Christie to the mix for filming.

Chesney Hawkes was rehearsing alongside the boys, making sure that the show will be a night to remember.

Chesney Hawkes will be performing in Newcastle at Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway on Tour Credit: ITV Tyne Tees
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