Newcastle superfan Keith 'Beefy' Roberts joins forces with red-and-white ally Santa to help save Christmas following pantomime cancellation
Santa Claus has stepped in to save Christmas after an annual pantomime was halted by Covid-19.
Perth Green Community Centre’s festive show is just one of many events in South Tyneside to be cancelled due to the pandemic.
It is a very different Christmas for South Tyneside this year, with almost all the usual events, including the popular camel parade, called off.
But youngsters in the Bede area will be able to pop along to the St John the Baptist Church in Jarrow, to meet Santa and Mrs Claus, as well as an elf or two.
Little ones will be given a selection box and one or two other surprises are under discussion.
Also appearing to provide some festive tunes will be singer Blake Robson. The community-minded Tyne Dock entertainer cheered up South Tyneside residents with his vocal talents during lockdown and is looking forward to bringing some cheer at the end of a tough 2020.
But Santa, who happens to be a good friend of a councillor for the Bede ward, Keith Roberts, will be the main attraction for the kids. The two have been in contact.
Cllr Roberts said: “We’ve got a few people around the Bede ward helping us out. We can’t have a panto, but we can still try to bring back some community spirit.
“We want neighbours to talk to each other and this helps. This has always been known as a friendly area, but we’ve lost a bit of the community spirit lately. Let’s try to have a great Christmas.”
Santa Claus told the Gazette: “I’m ho-ho hoping to see lots of boys and girls at St John the Baptist Church, Nairn Street on Monday, December 21 between 11.30am and 1.30pm.
“I’m told by my elves that they’ve all been very good and that everyone should have a lovely time.”
With his red and white suit, Santa is perhaps an unlikely ally for Cllr Roberts, who aside from his political activities, is well-known in the area for his passionate following of Newcastle United, where he has the nickname ‘Beefy’ among fans.
For more information on the festive event at the church, ring 0191 489 3743.