New TV Series Gets Ready to Delve into the Bowels of the City; the Wonders of Waterworks

Article excerpt

Byline: COREENA FORD

HIDDEN Tyneside will be uncovered by a host of celebrities for a new TV show. Actor Alan Cumming paid a visit to Newcastle as part of a new Sky Atlantic series called Urban Secrets, designed to root out little-known facts and treasures in cities around the UK.

The X Men star took a walking tour of Newcastle, discovering little-known stories and forgotten places, while recounting the tales behind landmarks such as the Tyne Bridge, Grey's Monument, Newcastle United and the Victoria Tunnel. The show, due to be screened next month, also saw him meet up with a number of Tyneside personalities, including comedians Sarah Millican and Simon Donald, and former Toon favourite Peter Beardsley.

Sarah, from South Shields, led Alan round the Tyneside Cinema where there is a permanent exhibition which brings the building's past and newsreel history to life.

The crew also paid a visit to one of the biggest stars at Newcastle United during a behind-the-scenes tour with former player Beardsley.

But the show wasn't interested in meeting Demba Ba or Papiss Cisse - they met up with tea lady Kath Cassidy, 85.

She has looked after players and managers, pre and post-match, with well-earned cuppas for more than 44 years.

The Chronicle revealed Kath's tea-making skills in May, telling how the grandma-of-13, of Battle Hill, North Tyneside, clinched a top hospitality prize after Alan Pardew sent a letter of praise to the organising committee.

Viz co-founder Simon, meanwhile, gave Alan a rather unusual history lesson - on how a former export led to the mildly offensive phrase "taking the ****". …