The actor Ricky Tomlinson told ITV News Tyne Tees reporter Frances Read why he supported this weekend's Durham Miners' Gala.
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With the County Championship starting in April, Sir Ian will make a statement later about his visions for the club.
The next phase in plans to attract more high-tech companies to a leading science parks in County Durham gets underway today.
An 84-year-old woman from the North East has abseiled down Middlesbrough's Transporter Bridge to raise awareness of Fair Trade.