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Following Geordie actor Sammy Johnson's sudden death in 1998, his friends Tim Healy and Jimmy Nail established the Sammy Johnson Memorial Fund in his memory. This is the fourth of what has now become a series of sell-out concerts on Tyneside in support of the fund. The event, staged this time at the Sage Gateshead, again captured the imagination of the people of the North-East and both shows sold out without any advertising.

A cast featuring Tim Healy, Jimmy Nail and Kevin Whately - Dennis, Oz and Neville from Auf Wiedersehen Pet, plus Brian Johnson,
Denise Welch, Jill Halfpenny, Brendan Healy, John Miles,
ex-Lindisfarne singer Billy Mitchell, Young Sinfonia, the Swing Bridge Singers and many, many more delivered two hours of scintillating music and comedy in memory of their pal Sammy.

75% of proceeds from the sale of this product will be donated to the Sammy Johnson Memorial Fund. The fund is managed by the Community Foundation and provides grants for talented young performers from the North East of England.



Pete Fyfe - - 25/05/2006
The sense of camaraderie is never more evident than when you encounter someone from Newcastle. The Northern wit and boundless musical talent that radiates from the area is guaranteed to put a smile on anyone's face.

Sammy Johnson was a much loved local hero (he played 'Stick' in the TV series 'Spender' which coincidentally was one of my favourite TV shows!) and when he died whilst training for the Great North Run in 1998 numerous friends decided to celebrate his life by putting on a performance to raise funds for the Sammy Johnson Memorial Fund. So successful was that first show in 2000 that it was decided to repeat it every other year.

For the 2006 performance there are plenty of sketches featuring amongst others Tim Healy, Jimmy Nail and Kevin Whately (Auf Wiedersehen Pet), Denise Welch, Jill Halfpenny and Kevin Kennedy. From the world of music there are contributions from Billy Mitchell, John Miles, Jimmy Nail in fine form on 'Isn't It A Pity' and Tim Healy letting rip with 'Unchain My Heart' is a real revelation. Keeping it in the family Tim's son Mattie gives a powerful rendition of Leonard Cohen's 'Hallelujah' and all in all, a grand time was had by all.

The house band (and what a house band) includes Lindisfarne's Ray Laidlaw on drums along with a full choir and orchestra and by the beaming faces they relished every minute. If, like me you feel like chilling out without setting foot from the comfort of your own home then buy a copy of this DVD - you'll be royally entertained and with 75% of the profit going towards the memorial fund you'll gain a lot of satisfaction in knowing that you've contributed to a very worth while cause.

Pete Fyfe - - 25/05/2006
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