John-Paul Stephenson

Hebburn stars join Sunday for Sammy

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Pictured: Chris Ramsey (right) takes an Instagram selfie with Hebburn creator Jason Cook live on stage at Sunday for Sammy. They were raising funds for developing talent in the North East.

Hebburn‘s Chris Ramsey and Jason Cook joined a host of Geordie stars for the latest Sunday for Sammy concert at Newcastle City Hall.

Ramsey and Cook joined Auf Wiedersehen, Pet stars Tim Healy, Kevin Whately and Christopher Fairbank for the bi-annual gala concert to raise funds for developing talent in the North East in memory of Geordie actor Sammy Johnson.

Healy, Whately and Fairbank, who played Dennis, Nev and Moxey in the classic comedy drama, performed a sketch specially written by Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais, which saw their Auf Wiedersehen, Pet characters tasked with building Hadrian’s Wall.

Clement and La Frenais have penned special Auf Wiedersehen, Pet sketches for each of the biannual concerts since they started in 2000, and have featured, at some point, all five surviving members of the original “magnificent seven”.

Indeed the audience reaction to the Auf Wiedersehen, Pet sketches in the first Sunday for Sammy concert, recently released on the 30th anniversary celebration DVD of the show, inspired the AWP writers and cast to revive the series.

Jason Cook, who has written and appeared in two series of Hebburn, performed a stand-up set, while Chris Ramsey, who plays Jack in the BBC Two series, featured in a sketch about “Bobby Elliot”, inspired by the film and West End musical Billy Elliot.

In the sketch, Ramsey played Bobby, who aspired to be a miner despite coming from a family of dancers.

Viz co-creator Simon Donald also appeared in a sketch during the show, which featured Great North Run founder Bendan Foster, Pete Scott, Jill Halfpenny, Chelsea Halfpenny, and Charles Lawson, best known for his role as Jim MacDonald in Coronation Street.

Tim Healy again joined forces with Walker-born Lorraine Crosby, best known as the female vocalist on Meat Loaf’s “I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That)”, for a performance of “Up Where We Belong”.

And as well as a stand up set, Brendan Healy joined forces with Billy Mitchell to spoof Geordie superstars Ant and Dec.

A member of the crew, who asked not to be named, told Giggle Beats that: “Everyone was lovely back stage; really chatty, and a great atmosphere.”

Although some audience members were a little perturbed by the silence in between sketches – and disappointed that the traditional ensemble performance of “Run for Home” was replaced by “Blaydon Races” – most who contacted Giggle Beats loved the show.

And audience members Hazel Squair and Amanda Wragg said that they were already looking forward to the next Sunday for Sammy in 2016.

The bi-annual concerts were compered by Tim Healy and Jimmy Nail between 2000 and 2006, until Nail resigned from the Sunday for Sammy Trust due to heavy work commitments.

As has been the case since 2004, the two sold-out performances on Sunday were recorded for a DVD, understood to have been directed by ex-Tube director Geoff Wonfor, which is expected to be released in June on the Mawson and Wareham label.