Famous faces and Sunday For Sammy
SUNDAY For Sammy is a showbusiness institution in the North East.
It honours the popular Newcastle-born actor Sammy Johnson who died in 1998 at the premature aged of 49.
Sammy had made his name appearing in TV hits such as Spender, Auf Wiedersehen Pet, and the Tyne Tees adaptation of Catherine Cookson’s The Gambling Man.
In response to his death, friends in the North East showbusiness community set up the Sammy Johnson Memorial Fund, which would support young performers from the region who needed financial assistance.
In 2000, Sammy’s showbiz pals Tim Healy and Jimmy Nail organised the first Sunday For Sammy concert at Newcastle City Hall.
They invited big names from the region’s entertainment and sporting worlds to join them and perform songs and sketches.
A host of local celebrities, such as Peter Beardsley, Mike Neville and Denise Welch, heeded the call and the show was such a success it was decided that the production should take place every two years.
Central to the show’s enduring appeal has been the role of Healy, Nail and their Auf Wiedersehen, Pet colleagues Kevin Whatley, Timothy Spall and Chris Fairbank, who have all appeared, on and off, in sketches since 2000.
AC/DC’s Brian Johnson, Ant and Dec, Dire Straights superstar Mark Knopfler, Lindisfarne and Joe McElderry among many other stars have donated their time.
The show’s producer, Ray Laidlaw said: “Sunday For Sammy is unique. No other part of the country has an event that celebrates its regional popular culture on such a scale while supporting the next generation of performers.” ■■In 2018, Sunday For Sammy will re-locate to Newcastle’s Metro Radio Arena for two theatrestyle performances on Sunday, February 18.
Tickets costing £35 are available at www. metroradioarena.co.uk, from the booking hotline number 0844 493 6666, or in person from the Metro Radio Arena Box Office. Tickets are also available from Newcastle Theatre Royal.
WITH THE 2018 SHOW IN PREPARATION, WE RECALL SOME OF ITS STARS
Auf Wierdersehen Pet lads, Sunday For Sammy, 2004 Brendan Healey and pals, Sunday For Sammy, 2006-2008 Brian Johnson and pals, Sunday For Sammy, 2006-2008 Joe McElderry, Sunday For Sammy, 2010-2014
Auf Wiedersehen Pet lads, Sunday For Sammy, 2006-2008 Peter Beardsley, Sunday For Sammy, 2004 Loose Women, Sunday For Sammy, 2010-2014 Mark Knopfler and pals, Sunday For Sammy, 2010-2014