VENTRILOQUIST Steve Hewlett is bringing his new show to South Tyneside.
The puppeteer, a Britain’s Got Talent finalist last year, is coming to the Customs House in South Shields next week, with all his friends in tow.
His show, Steve Hewlett is Thinking Inside the Box, is on at the Mill Dam venue on Thursday.
The performer will be joined on stage by his characters, old man Arthur Lager, as seen on Britain’s Got Talent, as well as his Simon Cowell and Sinitta puppets.
Steve said: “I’ve always wanted to do a theatre tour, and it’s going really well.
“It’s being received well by the audience, and it’s been a lot of fun so far.
“My visit to South Shields will be a first for me, and I’m really looking forward to it.”
Steve says he became fascinated with ventriloquism at the age of 10 after seeing performer Jimmy Tamley on television talent show New Faces in 1987.
He said: “He lived round the corner from me, so I went and knocked on his door and asked if he’d give me a lesson.
“He became my mentor, and now we’re really good friends.
“Since I’ve been on telly, kids are sending me messages asking if I’d give them a lesson, so it’s kind of come full circle, and it’s really nice.”
He added: “I’ve been getting a lot of messages on Twitter asking if the show is suitable for kids, and it definitely is.
“It’s a real family show. There aren’t many things that three generations of a family can go to together and all have a right laugh, and I’m very proud that I can offer that.”
Steve will be joined by a support act, magician Richard Griffin.
Tickets for the 7.45pm show cost £18, with a £16 concession. To book, go to www.customshouse.co.uk or call the box office on 454 1234.
We’ve got a pair of tickets to give away for the show.
To be in with a chance of winning, just tell us the name of Steve’s old man puppet.
Fill out the coupon on the left and send it to: Vicki Newman, Steve Hewlett, Shields Gazette, Northeast Press, Pennywell Industrial Estate, Sunderland, SR4 9ER.