Culture

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Local boy made good

Local boy made good

Newcastle’s own Neil Tennant comes home in September as his band Pet Shop Boys play two special shows at Sage Gateshead as part of their spectacular 2014 Electric tour. The shows on 2 and 3 September are the first in a run of concerts and special announcements that will celebrate Sage Gateshead’s tenth anniversary year. Neil said: “It always feels special to come home and perform a show, and the Sage has established itself in the last ten years as one of Europe’s very best venue

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My North East

My North East

A new 200-page coffee table book featuring stunning landscape pictures and full interviews with more than 60 of the region’s famous sons and daughters talking about their favourite places, views and memories of the North East will be available from 20 October, price £20, by Anne Graham and Michael Hamilton. All profits from the book will go to the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation. Sir Bobby was the inspiration for the book. Read his interview and see his favourite North East places along with 60 other grea

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The gospel truth

The gospel truth

The Lindisfarne Gospels weigh the same as two adult female domestic cats, have three kilometres worth of words and took up to ten years to produce. But when it comes to their value, measurement is almost impossible. As one of the most important books in the history of Christianity, the gospels are virtually priceless and are usually housed at the British Library in London under strict security. But as anyone who has recently spent any time in the North East k

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Dancing to his own tune

Dancing to his own tune

Andy Fraser – founding member and bass player of 1970s seminal blues-rock band, Free – wrote the band’s mega-hit All Right Now and Robert Palmer’s Every Kinda People as well as songs recorded by Joe Cocker, Chaka Khan, Rod Stewart, Three Dog Night, Frankie Miller, Etta James and Bob Seger among others.  Now he has his own Andy Fraser Band and is at the helm of McTrax Records, which releases his own work and also spots and nurtures new talent, such as British singer songwriter Tobi

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TV detective drama George Gently filmed in the North East

TV detective drama George Gently filmed in the North East

Gently does it in Geordieland By Michael Hamilton Pictures by Dave Foster TV detective drama Inspector George Gently was filmed for the first time where it is actually set – in the North East – for the new two-part show on BBC1 screened on Sunday September 26 and October 3. We led the call to film the series here at home, last year. In exclusive interviews both Geordie actress Jill Halfpenny who starred in last year’s series and Tyneside writer Peter Flannery – who also penn

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Newcastle writer Lee Hall, who penned Billy Elliot, on the phenomenal success of his stage play Pitmen Painters

Newcastle writer Lee Hall, who penned Billy Elliot, on the phenomenal success of his

Portrait of a playwright Tyneside writer Lee Hall shot to fame with the 1999 hit movie Billy Elliot and adapted it for the stage in 2005, winning an award for best new musical. Now his latest award-winning play The Pitmen Painters is back touring in the North East.  Exclusive interview by Michael Hamilton MH: Tell me how The Pitmen Painters came about. Lee: It came about by accident in a way. I saw a copy of William Feaver’s book in a bookshop and thought that’s a

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Our Friends in the North writer Peter Flannery talks about BBC TV's George Gently

Our Friends in the North writer Peter Flannery talks about BBC TV's George Gently

Our friend in the North Hit BBC detective series Inspector George Gently is set in Northumberland in the Sixties - and was actually born in the North East Exclusive interview by Michael Hamilton * Following this interview the good news is that the next series of George Gently is to be filmed in the North East Award-winning Geordie screenwriter Peter Flannery – who wrote the epic BBC drama Our Friends in the North in 1996 – was browsing in books

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When I rock the mic…

When I rock the mic…

Open Mic UK is coming back to the North East in search of up-and-coming singing talent to challenge for top spot in the national competition. Competitors in the past include Lucy Spraggan and Jahmene Douglas. And previous winner Birdy has just been nominated for a Brit Award in 2014 as best British Female Solo Artist. It’s open to all singers of all genres, whether they are rappers, folk singers, a vocal trio or crooners. Head to the Mill Volvo Tyne Theatre, Westgate Ro

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A Streetcar Named Desire

A Streetcar Named Desire

A Streetcar Named Desire A National Theatre Live Young Vic production, broadcast live Empire Cinema, Sunderland 17 September     Loads of people love the cinema. I’m not one of them. No, I haven’t seen Star Wars, The Shawshank Redemption, The Godfather or any number of movies people tell me I should see. I’m with Holden Caulfield – to me the pictures are phoney. Okay, I like The Jungle Book and Toy Story, but film is simply not my medium. On the other hand I adore the theat

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Audio Interviews

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Reviews

I left my heart in Roker Park

I left my heart in Roker Park...

I left my heart at Roker Park…and extra time at the Stadium of Light By Tom Kelly Customs House, South Shields, Washington Ar...

Whats on

Saxon head north

Saxon head north...

Heavy metal legends Saxon are set to take the North East by storm with a date on 9 December at the O2 Academy in Newcastle ...