The Best of South Tyneside Awards were turned into a social media hit thanks to Little Mix star Jade Thirlwall,
The competition’s grand finale, held on Thursday night at the Quality Hotel in Boldon, attracted massive support, especially on Twitter.
And it’s largely thanks to Jade, who stars in Little Mix alongside fellow South Shields lass Perrie Edwards, Jesy Nelson and Leigh-Anne Pinnock.
Jade tweeted a good luck message to all of the finalists, and got 2,095 retweets and 4,824 likes.
She posted: “Wish I was at the best of South Tyneside awards tonight but my mam is there ❤️ good luck everyone! #gazettebest xjadex”
Jade’s mum Norma Thirlwall also backed the event. As well as her own tweets, she was photographed with Gazette managing editor Gavin Foster who posted a tweet of them on the night.
Their backing were among scores of tweets. The evening’s compere Ray Spencer MBE, the executive director of the Customs House in South Shields, described the awards finalists as “the people make us who we are Our community is enriched because of them #gazettebest.”
Young Performer of the Year was Hope Swan, 16, Category sponsors Port of Tyne tweeted: “Well done to all the finalist young performers of the year @shieldsgazette #gazettebest and to winner Hope Billie Swan!”
Last year’s Young Performer champion Eve Simpson opened the night with a captivating song, and later posted: “A big thank you for having me last night at The Best of South Tyneside Awards. Great to see everyone #gazettebest.”
Radio South Tyneside were delighted at John Johnson’s Lifetime Contribution Award for three decades of volunteering at South Tyneside Hospital. They posted: “Congratulations to our former chairman John Johnson on his #SouthTyneside #Gazettebest award! “
Wish I was at the best of South Tyneside awards tonight but my mam is there ❤️ good luck everyone!Jade Thirlwall
But this was a night which was cram packed with winners in a huge range of categories, and our reporting team has got interviews with all of them.
Find out their reactions to winning in a Gazette supplement on Wednesday, June 15, featuring interviews and photographs of all of the champions.