South Shields X-Factor star Joe McElderry's birthday bash raises more than £8,500 for Customs House
The one-time X-Factor winner hosted a special birthday bash to raise money for his favourite South Shields venue.
The event which featured music, games and plenty of laughs has so far raised more than £8,500 in donations for the theatre, with hundreds tuning in from across the world.
Appearances from special guests included stage Lesley Joseph – who he recently starred alongside in Snow White - Kerry Ellis and Marisha Wallace.
The Customs House was forced to close its doors on Monday, March 16 due to the coronavirus pandemic and had to cancel upcoming shows until further notice.
As with many theatre and arts venues it is struggling with the loss of revenue in these uncertain times.
Customs House executive director Ray Spencer, said: “It was such an uplifting and fun event in what are really dark days for society, but particularly for our sector. When you hear so much bad news at the moment for Joe to do this for us is something we will never take forgranted.”
The Customs House has a special place in Joe’s heart, being the venue where he started out his career.
Joe performed an earlier gig from behind closed doors on Wednesday, March 18, raising more than £8,000 for The Customs House and Acting For Others charities.
Mr Spencer added: “We are so incredibly grateful to have such a big-hearted gesture from such a talented Sanddancer.
“Anyone who saw the donations coming in from right across the UK, from across the world has got to recognise just what a massive star he is.”
Speaking on his Twitter page after the event last night, Joe thanked everyone who had tuned in and donated as the total continued to rise, saying “you are incredible”.