shearer-2aA new book celebrating the North East is released today (Monday 4 November), packed with personal insights and childhood reminiscences from the region’s famous sons and daughters.

‘My North East’ features contributions from 65 well-known faces from stage and screen, musical heroes and sporting legends – all proud to call the North East home – sitting alongside stunning landscape photographs by leading local photographer Graeme Peacock.

Two North East writers, Michael Hamilton and Anne Graham, interviewed stars about their memories and favourite places to produce the 200-page hardback book and all profits from it will be donated to the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.

Sir Bobby’s feelings about the area are featured and Lady Elsie was pleased to provide a foreword.

Alan Shearer, a Patron of the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, is also included and says: “I was happy to contribute to ‘My North East.’

“This is a very special region and that certainly comes across in the pages of this book.

“When the idea was described to me I thought it was fantastic.  Even more so when I heard Anne and Michael were pulling it all together to raise money for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.  It’s a very thoughtful way to raise money for the charity.

“Anyone who loves the North East will appreciate this book and I imagine for anyone far from home it will bring back some wonderful memories too.”

Amongst the big names who talk about how the region has shaped them are: Mark Knopfler, Vic Reeves, Sir Bobby Robson, Tony Blair, Sting, Robson Green, Bryan Ferry, Alan Shearer, Kevin Whately, Denise Welch, Tim Healy, Brian Johnson, Jim Montgomery, Si King, Bryan Robson, Kat Copeland, Gina McKee, the Duchess of Northumberland, Joe McElderry, Brendan Foster and Jack Charlton.

Places featured include Coquetdale, High Force, the Transporter Bridge, Alnmouth, the Tyne Bridges, Seaburn, Durham Cathedral, Bamburgh Castle, the Angel of the North, Roseberry Topping, Weardale, Craster, Teesdale and Holy Island.

Anne, a former Northern Echo reporter, says: “When I spoke to Sir Bobby in 2008 about the launch of the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation he talked passionately about what he hoped the charity would achieve in the region. He wanted to make a difference in the area where his own roots lay. It has exceeded even his dreams – and continues to do so.

“Talking to fellow North Easterners about Sir Bobby after he died, it became clear to me that they shared his fierce loyalty and deep affection for this unique part of the world.

“And that’s how the book was born. We’ve brought together for the first time in words and images what home means to many of the region’s famous sons and daughters – including Sir Bobby.”

Michael, formerly of the Newcastle Evening Chronicle and Tyne Tees TV, says: “It was a labour of love to interview some of my North East heroes like Mark Knopfler, Brian Johnson and Paul Rodgers.”

My North East is available from 4 November (RRP £20) published by Kingfisher Reach Communications.

To buy online: www.my-northeast.co.uk