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Pope due to give talk at the University of Sunderland

Screenwriter and producer Jeff Pope will give a Masterclass at the University of Sunderland

Jeff Pope, a critically acclaimed screenwriter and producer whose latest work, Cilla, has recently aired on ITV, will be giving a Masterclass at the University of Sunderland as part of the BAFTA Creative Skillset series.

His 20-year career also includes Northern Lights, Pierrepoint, Mrs Biggs and Philomena, starring Judi Dench and Steve Coogan, for which he was awarded a BAFTA and received Oscar and Golden-Globe nominations.

He said: “The most important part of writing is starting. The blank screen is an oppressive thing. I hope I can inspire University of Sunderland students to commit, to get over that seemingly insurmountable hurdle of starting."

Pope will discuss the process of creating television and film scripts. He will also offer advice on developing writing skills and becoming established in the industry.

The lecture will take place at Tom Cowie Campus at St Peter’s on Wednesday, 24th September.

Northumbria Police looking to recruit cadets

Northumbria Police is offering a four year cadet scheme, providing the opportunity for young people to see what life is like as a police officer.

Cadets provide support to policing teams across the force; from assisting at community events, taking part in crime prevention initiatives and carrying out online meetings to find out what concerns the community.

Speaking of the scheme, Chief Superintendent Kay Blyth, said:

The cadet scheme is a fantastic way for young people to gain skills and experiences they may not otherwise have the opportunity to. The four year scheme sees young people see what it is like to be a police officers and police and community support officers and be involved in the work they do as well as work towards the Duke of Edinburgh award. We're currently recruiting for the scheme and I would encourage anyone who is interested, or thinks they know someone who may be interested, to consider applying.

– Chief Superintendent Kay Blyth

Kevin Whately calls for North East to 'don their trainers'

Actor Kevin Whately Credit: Shaun Pattenden/EMPICS Entertainment

Actor Kevin Whately is calling for people in the North East to "don their trainers" and join Tyneside's Memory Walk this weekend.

The 63-year-old, who was born in Hexham, is an ambassador for The Alzheimer’s Society and is encouraging people to join the fight against dementia by signing up for Tyneside's Memory Walk, which takes place this weekend.

Kevin, whose mother Mary died with dementia in 2009: "I know from personal experience the devastating impact dementia has on everyone it touches" he said.

The actor, best known for his roles in Inspector Morse and Auf Wiedersehen, Pet became an Alzheimer’s Society supporter after starring in the television drama Dad in which his character’s mother developed Alzheimer’s disease.

"The Memory Walk is a wonderful way to celebrate someone special who has been affected by the disease and a valuable opportunity to do something so positive to truly help and support people living with dementia and their carers" Kevin said.

"Hundreds of young and old sponsored Memory Walkers will be stepping out so I hope people across the North East will dust down their walking boots and don their trainers and get out there this weekend."

Tyneside Memory Walk takes place at 11am on Saturday, 20th September at Baltic Square.


Referendum reaction: What's next?

Scotland has said no to independence, rejecting the Yes campaign's vision to break away from the UK.

45% of people voted yes but 55% said no. Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond has announced he is resigning. He will step down in November.

But what does the result mean for us, in the North East of England?

David Cameron has already promised more say for the English regions and today there has been a clamour of calls for the North East to have far greater control of its own affairs. We will be looking at that in more detail in a moment.

ITV Political Correspondent Paul Brand looks at the reaction in Westminster, and what happens next:

11 years imprisonment for 'spectacular recklessness'

A Sunderland man who set a North Sea ferry on fire while smoking cannabis in his cabin has been jailed for 11 years.

Several passengers had to be airlifted to hospital as the ship was forced to turn back to North Shields on its way to Holland in December 2013.

Sentencing him to 11 years in jail, Judge James Goss QC said it was a "spectacular piece of recklessness" that carried the highest culpability.

Gregg Easteal reports:

View from border: Berwick's reaction to the referendum

Aside from the economic and political arguments, nowhere in the North East region has been more aware of the implications of the referendum result than the town of Berwick in the far north of Northumberland.

Kenny Toal has spent the day there, following Scotland's decision to reject independence:

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