Famous faces join premiere audience

Joe McElderry, who won X-Factor in 2009 and has since sold more than two million records and had five top 20 albums, with a couple of fans. Picture by RusbyMedia.
Joe McElderry, who won X-Factor in 2009 and has since sold more than two million records and had five top 20 albums, with a couple of fans. Picture by RusbyMedia.

Stars of stage and screen descended on North Shields for the DVD premiere of this year’s Sunday for Sammy extravaganza.

X Factor winner Joe McElderry, star of DCI Banks Stephen Tompkinson and ex-members of legendary band Lindisfarne topped the bill at The Exchange on Sunday as cast and crew re-lived February’s successful shows.

The event in aid of young performing artists in the North East at Metro Radio Arena saw Geordie stars including Kevin Whately, Tim Healy and Denise Welch take to the stage – as well as surprise guests Vera actress Brenda Blethyn and world-renowned musician and producer Trevor Horn – in front of more than 10,000 people across two performances.

The Exchange was used for rehearsals and South Shields-singer Joe McElderry, who won X Factor in 2009 and has since sold more than two million records and had five top 20 albums, said it is a ‘wonderful venue’.

He added: “I am very supportive of all venues in the North East and places like this that help young talent break into the industry.”

The building on Howard Street, which until 2015 was a restaurant, was re-opened in 2016 and re-launched as a cultural arts venue with charitable status. It has since played host to hundreds of musicians, theatre productions, art exhibitions and charity events, to name but a few.

Artistic director Karen Knox said: “It was an absolute pleasure to welcome so many fantastic, talented people to The Exchange to celebrate the wonderful Sunday for Sammy.”