Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Stage Is Set for Sammy and It's a Bigger One Than Ever

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Stage Is Set for Sammy and It's a Bigger One Than Ever

Article excerpt

Byline: Barbara Hodgson Reporter

BIG names in entertainment from across the North East are busy drawing up the bill for the eagerly awaited Sunday for Sammy concert - and they promise it will be the biggest and best yet.

Ex-Lindisfarne favourites Billy Mitchell and Ray Laidlaw have been in talks with comedian Jason Cook, playwright Ed Waugh and awardwinning director and producer Geoff Wonfor about plans for what's dubbed the Geordie Command Performance.

Sunday for Sammy has been drawing crowds for the past 17 years to Newcastle City Hall - save for a oneoff at Sage Gateshead - but it's now set for a move to Metro Radio Arena and the plan is to ensure it will prove an even bigger attraction than ever in its large-scale new home.

Since it made its debut in 2000 as a tribute to late Geordie actor Sammy Johnson, the show has proved hugely popular with local audiences - who have come to expect a star line-up - and its twice-in-one-day show is always an early sell-out. The last Sunday for Sammy, almost two years ago, sold out in a day.

The Arena's greater capacity means fewer people will be left disappointed and the next show - in February - has already sold more tickets there than the two City Hall shows combined.

The event has earned its top spot in the social calendar with a varied programme celebrating talent from the region, from Dire Straits' Mark Knopfler and AC/DC's Brian Johnson to actresses Denise Welch and Charlie Hardwick as well as - from the off - actor Tim Healy and his fellow Auf Wiedersehen, Pet stars Kevin Whately, Timothy Spall, Jimmy Nail and Christopher Fairbank.

The money raised from the shows benefit young local performers and also taking to the stage to help out have been Ant and Dec, Stephen Tomkinson, Joe McElderry, Brendan Healy, Brendan Foster, Bob Moncur, Glenn McCrory and Kathryn Tickell.

With a line-up of entertainers always guaranteed to raise laughs, the show is an annual sell-out - even before the programme is announced. …

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