South Tyneside pub boss appears on Jeremy Vine TV show to discuss latest lockdown tier announcement

A South Tyneside hospitality boss has starred in the national debate, appearing on morning television to discuss publicans’ plight in the North East after the entire region was placed in Tier 3 earlier this week.

Stephen Sullivan, who runs Ziggy’s Bar in South Shields, was interviewed on morning topical debate programme, the Jeremy Vine show.

The well-known landlord made a virtual appearance on the early daytime chat show to discuss the implications of Thursday’s announcement that South Tyneside, along with the whole of the North East, will be met with Tier 3 restrictions upon exiting the national lockdown for England next week.

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Small business owners across the borough have reacted with disappointment to the news, as South Tyneside traders told The Gazette this week that the confirmation of Tier 3 status only compounded the worries of struggling high street firms in the area.

Jeremy Vine attempts to locate South Shields on a makeshift map, before speaking with Mr Sullivan

Mr Sullivan told Jeremy Vine that months of constant adaptation to ever-changing rules and restrictions has been ‘mentally exhausting’ for the borough’s business community.

"One of the bigger questions of ‘Can we make it?’ is ‘Do we have the energy anymore?’,” he said during the on Friday morning.

"The hospitality sector’s been hit hard every step of the way. We’ve had to adapt and change constantly to new rules and new tiering systems.”It comes after Mr Sullivan told the Gazette: “By the time the Government reviews the tiering system for South Tyneside, it will be too close to Christmas for us to order in stock, making it practically impossible to open at that point even if we do move down to Tier 2.

"It’s all fine and well saying ‘We’re reviewing this on a regular basis’, but it’s really not much good to us if we can’t trade.

Ziggy's Bar starred in the national debate this week, as pub owner Stephen Sullivan discussed national lockdown on the Jeremy Vine show

"I 100 per cent won’t be operating until 2021. With the support of the public, I hope we will get through this. But we have no reserves left now at this point.”

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"The hospitality sector is one of the very few sectors that very strongly do track and trace.”

Through the #supportlocal campaign, The Gazette has drawn attention to the plight of a number of high street firms across the borough struggling amid the pressures of Covid-19.

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Jeremy Vine, presenter of the morning daytime chat show of the same name
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