STING will play at the riverside concert celebrating the Bupa Great North Run’s millionth finish, it has been confirmed tonight (Tuesday, August 26).
The former member of 80s chart-toppers The Police, who hails from Wallsend, will perform The Last Ship, from his acclaimed album and upcoming Broadway play of the same name at the event on Thursday, September 4, on the banks of the Tyne.
Joining him will be Auf Wiedersehen, Pet star Jimmy Nail, who is also in the musical and well-known North-East traditional musicians, including Northumbrian piper Kathryn Tickell, The Wilson Family and Mercury Music Prize nominees The Unthanks.
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The ambitious event, the first of its kind on Tyneside, has been devised by the team behind the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic opening ceremonies, and will include pyrotechnics, mass choreography, and an aerial performance over the Tyne.
As well as Dire Straits legend Mark Knopfler, the event will feature performances from multi-platinum selling festival favourites Chase & Status, narration from Geordie actors Tim Healy and Jill Halfpenny and, for the first time, the Sage Gateshead will be transformed into a giant screen for projected film and animation.
Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly will open the show, which aims to tell the story of the North-East, on the Newcastle and Gateshead Quaysides.
They will also be part of a ceremony in which the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) will officially acknowledge the Bupa Great North Run as the first event in the world to reach its one millionth finish.
Mr McPartlin said: “We were the official starters of the Bupa Great North Run in 2010, and for us, the sheer scale of the event then seemed incredible.
“When you think about that happening year on year for over thirty years, resulting in the finish line being crossed one million times - it really is a special milestone.”
Mr Donnelly said: “Obviously, as a Newcastle fan, I’m looking forward to hearing Mark Knopfler play Local Hero live, but we’ve heard a little bit more about what to expect and the whole night will be an epic celebration of everything that has made our region great.”
Anyone who has taken part in a Great North Run, or who is in this year’s event, is eligible for free tickets for the event. Apply at greatrun.org/ticket_giveaway
People ineligible for free admission can buy tickets at www.gnrmillion.org priced at £12 for adults and £7 for children.