Where else but at a Sunday for Sammy 2012 show could you see Auf Wiedersehen Pet’s Tim Healy, Kevin Whately, Chris Fairbank and Julia Tobin in a hilarious sketch written by Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais that also featured Emmerdale’s Chris Chittell, Loose Women’s Denise Welch and Byker Grove’s Donna Air, all playing the parts of King Arthur and his court and kept in order by Merlin the Magician, played by the inimitable Brendan Healy. Add to that a rapturous standing ovation for surprise guest Joe McElderry following his stunning rendition of ‘Nessun Dorma’, another pair of side-splitting sketches written by Ed Waugh and Trevor Wood featuring Emmerdale’s Charlie Hardwick and Chelsea Halfpenny plus The Bill’s Angie Lonsdale and the RSC’s Peter Peverley. Then there were brilliant young comedians Gavin Webster and Josh Daniels, a duet with a difference from Billy Mitchell, a very timely ode to a pasty from Tyneside Troubadour Pete Scott, cameo performances from grant recipients Nathalie Stern and Adam Taylor and the whole thing topped off with a rip-roaring selection of tunes from the rockin’ Sammy Bandits with vocals from Ray Stubbs, Tim Healy, Lorraine Crosby and Billy Mitchell.
It really is, a rip-roaring Juggernaut of a show packed with North East stars in sketches, songs and stand-up to raise funds in memory of Sammy Johnson that will benefit the next generation of North East performers.
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