Christmas arrived early in the North East this year as festive preparations were launched for a star studded, spectacular Yuletide concert.

sbrf 1Organisers of the fifth annual Christmas at the Cathedral concert have chosen to raise funds for us this year and the show promises to be bigger and better than ever.

The concert – which will take place on Thursday, December 15 at St Nicholas Cathedral in Newcastle – will feature well-known faces performing songs, readings and comedy sketches, while choirs will sing both traditional festive songs and Christmas Carols.

Jonathan Wallis, from Barnard Castle, is organising the event but as is the custom, he isn’t giving away any details of who may or may not be appearing.

Jonathan says: “We like to keep the audience guessing right up to the night. It adds to the surprise and magic of Christmas.

“However, in previous years, the sell out audiences have been entertained by established stars such as Tim Healy, Chelsea Halfpenny, Charlie Hardwick, Denise Welch and Rebecca Root so that gives you a feel for the calibre of talent on show.”

Ex Lindisfarne front man Billy Mitchell will be the evening’s compere, while drummer Ray Laidlaw will once again produce the show that has always delighted the packed out audience.

Ray says: “This is our fifth year and for the first time, our chosen charity is the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.

“Sir Bobby was an amazing person and his charity has helped many people in the region. We are looking forward to raising even more awareness of the work that the charity does as well as raising funds so that they can continue doing their valuable work.”

On behalf of the Foundation, Lady Elsie says: “Like many people, Christmas is one of my favourite times of year. There’s a sense of togetherness that always makes it special.

“That togetherness can be with family, friends, or, in this case, people coming together to raise money for Bob’s Foundation.

“This promises to be a memorable and very Christmassy event. I’m told it will be funny, uplifting and emotional. And given the people involved in organising the event, I have no doubts it will be all of those things.”

Christmas at the Cathedral will take place on December 15 at 7pm. Tickets £10 plus booking fees are now available from the Theatre Royal box office on 0844 811 2121. A small amount of VIP tickets are also available.

Any companies wishing to support the event, either through sponsorship or by VIP ticket packages, should email