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Star-studded line-up wows South Shields

MYSTERY GUEST ... organiser Chris Ramsey, left, got his pal Ed Sheeran to play.

MYSTERY GUEST ... organiser Chris Ramsey, left, got his pal Ed Sheeran to play.

A STAR-STUDDED line-up took to the stage in South Shields in a charity spectacular.

Superstar Ed Sheeran was the surprise mystery guest at a fundraising night organised by comedian Chris Ramsey.

The A Team singer provided a stunning finale at the Customs House show, which raised thousands of pounds for children’s cancer charity, CLIC Sargent.

The sold-out crowd was also treated to performances from a host of comedians including Hebburn creator Jason Cook, Jarrow’s Carl Hutchinson, and Al Murray, best known as the Pub Landlord.

Music was provided by Lindisfarne’s Billy Mitchell and South Shields singer Rosie Winter, who performed a duet with Ed.

Chris organised the concert in memory of his young half cousin Jack Leggett.

The nine-year-old, of Primrose Avenue, South Shields, died from a brain tumour just three days before Christmas. He had been diagnosed just two months earlier. Jack’s father – and Chris’s cousin – Alfie Leggett, and his partner Susan Clarkson, were helped through their ordeal by CLIC Sargent.

The acts, who gave their time for free, all wore Batman T-shirts in tribute to comic fan Jack.

Chris, 27, said: “It was a phenomenal success, and I was over the moon that my friends came up to do it.

“The family are delighted with the response and hopefully we’ve earned a fortune to help other families in this situation.

“We’re very pleased – as pleased as you can be in this situation.”

He added: “It’s all about the community spirit, and that’s the amazing thing about the North East. People just come together.”

Ed wowed the crowd with an hour-long set made up of his hits The A Team, Lego House, and more, including an exclusive performance of I See Fire, a song he wrote for the new Hobbit film. After the show, he said: “It was fun, very fun, I really enjoyed it.

“It was my first time playing in South Shields, and I got a very warm welcome. It was pretty much an instant ‘yes’ when Chris asked me – it’s something that I needed to do.

“It’s a very worthy cause, a heartbreaking cause actually, but it’s nice to know that people are rallying around to raise money.”

At the end of the first act, Chris brought mum-of-six Trisha Burns onto the stage. The 35-year-old, from Tees Court, South Shields, vowed to shave her hair in the interval to help raise funds, and was greeted by cheers as she showed the crowd her new look.

She said: “I’m friends with Jack’s mam and I said I’d do it as a joke but then it just ended up happening. I’m glad I did it.”

Jack’s dad, Alfie, said: “We’re overwhelmed with all the support, and especially Chris and his friends coming down to do it -– it’s really appreciated.”

Mum Susan added: “Jack would have loved every minute of it.”

Twitter: @shieldsgazvicki

 

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