15 famous South Tynesiders tell us their New Year’s Resolutions

Jason Cook
Jason Cook

Whether it’s picking up a new skill or dropping a bad habit, lots of people use the new year as a time to make promises to themselves.

Some people swear to slim down or quit smoking, learn to play the guitar or spend more time with families.

Chris Ramsey

Chris Ramsey

We asked some of our celebrity and prominent South Tynesiders if they were making a New Year’s Resolution.

It’s been a big year for Hebburn comic Jason Cook.

The 42-year-old has continued to make people laugh with his stand-up material and has enjoyed one sold-out gig after another with his band, the Geordie Rat Pack.

2015 also saw Jason form his own comedy club at the Customs House, in South Shields.

Ray Spencer

Ray Spencer

As 2016 approached, the Hebburn sitcom creator said: “I’m going to stop standing outside Chris Ramsey’s house.

“And if I can’t stop, then at least to start doing it wearing clothes.”

Fellow comic Chris Ramsey would probably say that 2015 has been the biggest year of his life so far.

Not only did he complete his biggest ever live tour All Growed Up and release his first ever DVD, but he became a dad for the first time too. Chris and his wife Rosie welcomed little Robin to the family in October.

Eric Idle

Eric Idle

The 29-year-old, from Marsden, South Shields, is employing an interesting tactic to ward off Jason’s unusual behaviour.

He said: “I’m going to stop leaving food out for that naked bloke who stands outside my house.”

Legendary South Shields entertainer Ray Spencer is spending the festive season in a frock.

The 58-year-old, of Biddick Hall, is starring as the Duchess in pantomime Alice in Wonderland at the Customs House.

Joe McElderry

Joe McElderry

Ray, the venue’s executive director, has got a head start on his New Year’s Resolution.

The dad-of-four said: “I’ve started going for an early morning swim as often as I can at Haven Point to get fitter for the new year.”

South Shields-born Monty Python star Eric Idle seems to have gone off the idea of making new year promises.

The 72-year-old comedy actor said: “I have resolved to make no more resolutions.”

South Shields X Factor champ Joe McElderry has had a very busy 2015.

Between playing more than 100 dates in his Evolution tour, starring The Who’s rock opera Tommy in Blackpool and heading to Hull to play the Spirit of the Mirror in panto Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, he’s hardly had time to breathe.

(left to right) Perrie Edwards, Jesy Nelson, Leigh-Anne Pinnock and Jade Thirlwall of Little Mix arriving for the BBC Radio 1's Teen Awards, Wembley Arena, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday November 8, 2015. Photo credit should read: Ian West/PA Wire

(left to right) Perrie Edwards, Jesy Nelson, Leigh-Anne Pinnock and Jade Thirlwall of Little Mix arriving for the BBC Radio 1's Teen Awards, Wembley Arena, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday November 8, 2015. Photo credit should read: Ian West/PA Wire

But the 24-year-old, from Westoe, South Shields, is maintaining a positive attitude for 2016.

He said: “I’m going to focus more on the things and the people that I love rather than all the negativity in the world. Life’s too short to worry about things like that.”

X Factor-winning girl band have gone from strength to strength this year.

The group, which stars South Shields girls Jade Thirlwall and Perrie Edwards alongside Jesy Nelson and Leigh-Anne Pinnock, spent three weeks at No1 with single Black Magic, released their third album Get Weird, and travelled the world.

Jade, 23, from Laygate, said: “I’m going to build up my fitness and stamina for our tour next year and take up learning the piano again.”

Perrie, 22, from Whiteleas, added: “I don’t usually make them but in the new year I hope to take every day as it comes and enjoy life.”

This year saw former Mr Gay World Stuart Hatton launch his anti-homophobia campaign So What? and receive support from around the world.

Next year, the 30-year-old, from South Shields, is planning on having a little more ‘me time’.

He said: “I’m going to watch more Star Trek and eat more broccoli and avocados.”

TV star Christopher John Slater, from South Shields, also sent us his New Year’s Resolution.

The 22-year-old, who has appeared in shows such as Tracy Beaker Returns and The Dumping Ground, said: “My resolution is to complete my teaching qualifications.”

This year saw Emma Lewell-Buck re-elected as South Shields MP.

The Labour politician says she’s going to continue to work for the people of the town in 2016.

She said: “This year I will continue to be a visible presence in South Shields and Parliament. I will also continue to campaign for the policies that are right for the people of Shields and hold the Government to account for their policies that are damaging to Shields and my constituents.”

South Shields performer David Ducasse has big plans for the new year.

The 39-year-old, who represented the UK as part of pop group Scooch and runs Performers Stage School as well as a Slimming World group, said: “I’m going to spend more time with friends and family, travel more, pay off the credit card, get back on stage more, not be afraid to say ‘no’, and make my 40th birthday something special.”

Britain’s Got Talent winner Jamie Lambert has had a busy 2015 as part of classical boyband Collabro.

The 24-year-old former South Tyneside District Hospital worker has travelled the world performing to his fans, released his second album, Act Two, and announced a UK tour next year.

He said: “I’m going to try and complain less about drinking too much wine. I’m also going to try and explore more cool places in the UK.”

Jarrow MP Stephen Hepburn was also re-elected this year.

The politician said he’s going to spend 2016 fighting for the people of his town.

He said: “My New Year’s resolution is simple, to fight even harder for a better deal for everybody in our area.

“My goal is greater prosperity, opportunities and fairness for all with top notch schools, health care and other public services.

“Over the coming months we will have a huge fight on our hands to save our NHS and the billions and billions of welfare cuts imposed by this Government. I will continue to fight them every step of the way.”

The Mayor of South Tyneside, Coun Richard Porthouse, said: “As we approach 2016, it is hard to believe that the Mayoress and I are already more than half way through our mayoral year and what a privilege it has been so far.

“My New Year’s resolution for 2016 is to champion fairness and equality, get fit and active and to continue to raise as much money as possible for the Mayor’s Charity. My chosen charities are Cancer Connections, Great North Air Ambulance and the South Tyneside branch of the Alzheimer’s Society.

“The Mayoress and I would like to thank all the wonderful people who have given us such a warm reception during our mayoral year and to say thank you to everyone who has donated to the Mayor’s Charity.

“We hope that 2016 brings health and happiness to the people of South Tyneside.”

World and Paralympics swimming champion Josef Craig is making a pledge to give more time to charity next year.

The 18-year-old, from Jarrow, is a patron of South Shields-based charity Cancer Connections.

He said: “In the past year I’ve been so busy training that I haven’t had much time to give to Cancer Connections so I’m going to make sure I make more time next year to support them because they do such a brilliant job.”

Stuart Hatton

Stuart Hatton

Christopher John Slater

Christopher John Slater

David Ducasse with members of his Performers Stage School.

David Ducasse with members of his Performers Stage School.

Jamie Lambert

Jamie Lambert

Stephen Hepburn and Emma Lewell-Buck

Stephen Hepburn and Emma Lewell-Buck