THE stars of Hebburn reunited on stage to raise laughs – and thousands of pounds – for charity.
Familiar faces from the BBC2 sitcom gathered together for the second Hebburn Charity Comedy Gala on Friday night.
The event, held at Hebburn RAOB Club, in William Street, saw stand-up performances from the show’s creator Jason Cook, and stars Steffen Peddie, Chris Ramsey and Neil Grainger.
South Shields singer Rosie Winter and comic Dave Hadingham also took to the stage to perform.
The charity night raised £5,000, which will be split between CLIC Sargent, Cancer Research’s Relay For Life, the British Thyroid Foundation, and Jarrow-based Poppleton School of Dance.
It was organised by Alix Thompson, the sister of Hebburn comic Jason, who said: “It was such a fun night, and it was like a party for us getting back together like that.
“The gig sold out in 24 hours, which is just amazing, so I think next time we might look for a bigger venue.
“The charities are all ones that are close to our hearts and it’s been a special night.
“The support for Hebburn was amazing. I fought so hard to have the show named that, and I really wanted to put it on the map.
“I’ve decided that I’m going to open or close my next tour at Hebburn Buffs too.”
Rosie performed songs I Want To Dance With Somebody, Valerie, Living On A Prayer and Somebody To Love, before she was joined on stage by surprise guest Neil Grainger in the guise of his Hebburn character, pub singer Gervaise. The pair sang a duet of Meat Loaf’s I’d Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That).
Rosie, who hosts the weekend breakfast show on Spark FM, said: “It was so much fun. I really enjoyed it, and getting to sing with Gervaise just made the night for me.
“It’s all about the charity though and I think if you can do something to help someone else then why not.”
Neil added: “Just the same as last year, it’s been an absolute pleasure to take part. If anything, it was even more exciting this year because it was a surprise that I was coming on to sing.
“The reaction from the audience was just amazing – it was like being a proper singer. It’s always great to be involved in things like this, and Alix and Jason have done such a great job of putting them together.”
After his time on stage, Steffen, who played Big Keith in the sitcom, said: “It’s brilliant having everyone back together and it’s been a great night.
“Everyone has been so busy lately, so it’s nice to get back together, have a laugh and raise money for some great causes at the same time.”
Chris, who starred as main character Jack Pearson, said: “It’s good to have one last big hurrah with the Hebburn guys, and obviously raise some money for some great causes at the same time.
“It feels like seeing all your old school friends, years after leaving.”
The event also included a raffle, with prizes such as alcohol, comedy and football tickets, and flowers, as well as an auction of a one-of-a-kind signed Hebburn print, made by Joanne Sangster of A Bit Wordy, which sold for £600. The club also donated £400 towards the total.
Steffen and Jason were back on stage together on Sunday evening for Steffen Peddie’s Chat Show Thing.
The comic hosts the monthly chat show at The Stand in High Bridge, Newcastle.
Jason and Metro Radio’s Night Owls host Alan Robson were the guests.
Jason chatted about his time writing Hebburn, his new gig as Jacob the Baker – a spokesman for Jacob’s – and his plans for the future,
He said: “I’m a huge Night Owls fan, so the second I found out Alan was doing this, I dropped everything to be here.
“They say you should never meet your heroes, and I have been disappointed in the past when I’ve met people, but it wasn’t like that with Alan.”
Alan talked about his broadcasting career and his favourite and most memorable moments on Night Owls.
He said: “The people in the crowd seem genuinely interested, which is very important because they’re a big part of the show.
“I don’t usually do talk shows or interviews and I’ve had offers from national talk shows, but I’ve never been interested. This has been a lot of fun though.”
Steffen added: “When I started the chat show I had a list of 10 people I desperately wanted to get on the show and Alan was one of them, so it was amazing to have him along.
“The whole idea is to have people on the show who I’d love to sit down the pub and have a pint with, except everyone is listening to our conversation.
“The audience were really up for it, and I think everyone had a great night.”