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AC/DC rocker to be given honorary degree

The lead singer of AC/DC, Brian Johnson, is to receive an honorary degree from Northumbria University in Newcastle. The musician, who is from Gateshead, will be made an honorary Doctor of Music.

Johnson will become an honorary doctor of music Credit: Suzan/EMPICS Entertainment

Others who will receive honorary degrees this summer include Vera Baird QC, the Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner and former Labour MP, and Baroness Howells of St David, a life peer who campaigns for racial equality.

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Is this the next winner of the X Factor?

X Factor auditions are well underway in Gateshead, with hopefuls queuing to see the four judges - Simon Cowell, Cheryl Cole, Mel B and Louis Walsh. This man was pulled out of the crowd for an interview - could he be the next North East winner of the X Factor?

The auditions are taking place at the Baltic, on the banks of the River Tyne in Gateshead

Cheryl Cole in Gateshead to find next X Factor star

Geordie star Cheryl Cole will return to the North East later for X Factor auditions in Gateshead.

It is four years since the singer was last a judge on the show, but she will be back in the hot seat at the Baltic with the other three judges.

Cheryl Cole
Cheryl Cole arrived at earlier X Factor auditions in London Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA

'Local Hero' Mark Knopfler to perform by the Tyne

Ex-Dire Straits frontman Mark Knopfler Credit: Bupa Great North Run

Geordie rock legend Mark Knopfler will perform at the Great North Run Million Opening Ceremony on Thursday 4 September. Organisers say a spectacular opening ceremony this year will herald the race which will see a millionth person complete the course.

This is believed to be a world first, and the milestone will be celebrated with an opening event which will feature live music, film and a dance performance, as well as star appearances, all held on the Newcastle-Gateshead Quayside.

Organisers say it will transform the River Tyne into an outdoor arena ahead of the Great North Run three days later.Mark Knopfler said: “I’m proud to have been a supporter of this great event from the beginning and am looking forward to being there to play ‘Local Hero’ "

Mark Knopfler is best known as the lead guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter for the global rock legends Dire Straits, who have sold over 120 million albums to date, and he was ranked number 27 in Rolling Stone magazine's list of 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time.

James Arthur confirms split with Simon Cowell

Saltburn's X-Factor winner James Arthur has confirmed that he is no longer with Simon Cowell's company, Syco.

There was speculation earlier this year that he had been dropped by the record label.

Last night, though, James Arthur posted these messages on Twitter:

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Just to clear things up - I am no longer with Syco. I would like to thank all at the label for making a great record with me.

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I now have to move on and do something different - the future is bright! #LOVE

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