Live updates

Christmas story is relevant to everyone, says Bishop

Paul Butler sat down with our Correspondent Frances Read to talk about his first year as Bishop in our region. Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees

Tonight at 6pm we have an exclusive Christmas interview with the Bishop of Durham.

Paul Butler sat down with our Correspondent Frances Read to talk about his first year as Bishop in our region and how he thinks the Christmas story is relevant to everyone, even if they have a different faith or no faith at all.

You can see the full interview ITV News Tyne Tees at 6pm tonight.

Advertisement

VIDEO: Text Santa is here

A host of stars are in London tonight for ITV's big Christmas charity show, Text Santa, which is on the channel from 8pm until 11.20pm. Our reporter Richard Slee went to see how preparations were getting along.

Text Santa: Supporting children in hospices

All this week we've be hearing about how some of the money being raised for Text Santa will benefit people right here in the region, ahead of tonight's live programme on ITV.

St Oswald's Hospice in Newcastle receives support from Together for Short Lives - a national charity that supports children's hospices in the UK.

Here's Deborah and Isabelle's story:

This year's beneficiaries are Alzheimer's Society, The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association, Marie Curie Cancer Care, Teenage Cancer Trust, Together for Short Lives and WellChild.

Text Santa: Alzheimer's Society

In the build up to our Christmas fundraising campaign Text Santa's live show this Friday evening, we're looking at how the money raised will benefit people here in the North East.

Alzheimer's Society is one of the six charities chosen. It funds dementia support workers and pays for activities for people living with dementia and their carers.

Watch Katie Oakes's full report here:

Text Santa: Helping teenagers with cancer

This week on Tyne Tees we'll be hearing about how some of the money being raised for Text Santa will benefit people right here in the North East.

The first charity we are going to see is the Teenage Cancer Trust. They fund specialist units like the one at the Great North Children's hospital, which allow young people to support one another and improve what can be a very isolating situation.

Cameron Asprey from Teesside was given the all clear four years ago:

Advertisement

Nativity play in Newcastle... with live animals!

Children from Hotspur Primary and Byker Primary are performing a Christmas nativity play on selected days this week and next. It's using animals at Ouseburn Farm in a musical play written by local educational company, Grumpy Sheep.

Nativity play at a real farm!

School-children from Newcastle have been performing a special version of the nativity play... surrounded by live animals! Dorothy Ellis, who works at Ouseburn Farm, says it's wonderful to see it come together:

Bishop of Newcastle's Christmas message

The Bishop of Newcastle, Rt Revd Martin Wharton Credit: Diocese of Newcastle

The Rt Revd Martin Wharton:

"In London recently, I saw some beautifully made Christmas crib figures in a shop. Beside them was a sign “Nativity Sets – please do not touch.

You couldn’t get the meaning of Christmas more wrong.

The baby in the straw in the manger is God touching life. Your life and mine. The Christ child is love touching life – ordinary life, back street life, life in the coldest and darkest parts of the world.

The baby in the manger is God touching our life.

But even more than that. The Christmas story is also about us being allowed to touch God. That’s what’s so amazing. It’s the story of love. And when love touches us, we become truly alive."

Load more updates