One of the borough’s most popular double acts - Ray Spencer and Bob Stott - are reuniting on stage for the first time in two years for the South Tyneside Comedy Festival.
The much-loved comedy duo delighted audiences as the stars of the annual Customs House Christmas panto until Bob – best known as Dame Dotty - retired in 2013.
The pair’s last official appearance together was in 2015, in Doing It For The House, a fundraiser for The Customs House Trust.
The stage magic was still there when they got together at Ray’s 60th birthday celebrations and knew they had to perform together again.
Ray, who played Dame Dotty’s dopey son Tommy in the annual panto, said: “I’m looking forward to working with Mr Stott. I am sure he has lost none of his quick-wittedness and cheeky grin. It will be an exciting adventure for us both.”
Ray and Bob’s partnership began at The Westovian Theatre Society, at the Pier Pavilion Theatre in South Shields, in 1975.
They became Dame Dotty and Tommy when Ray began writing summer Tommy the Trumpeter pantomimes in 1990.
Bobsaid: “A double act is about chemistry and from our first appearance on stage together. Ray and I just clicked. I doubt if either of us could explain it.
“Things are a lot easier and a lot funnier when you have a friend of over 40 years at your side and many more friends in the audience that have supported us over the years.
“If there is a secret to our double act, it’s that we really enjoy being on stage together.”
The South Tyneside Comedy Festival, based at The Customs House, has line-up of stars and up-and-coming comedians throughout July and August.
Performers include Rory Bremner: Partly Political, comedy magician Pete Firman and Canadian comedian Sean Collins.
Ray and Bob: Together Again is on Friday at 7pm.
Tickets, priced £15 or £13 for Friends of The Customs House, are available from the box office on (0191) 454 1234 or online at www.customshouse.co.uk.