This live event has finished
- Sting, Mark Knofler and Ant and Dec are among the celebrities at the official opening ceremony of the Great North Run on Newcastle Quayside tonight.
See The Northern Echo tomorrow for pictures galore and a round-up of the night's events
And on Sunday the region will take centre stage again when the race itself takes place. Can't wait!
And that's that - what an evening it has been for the North-East. A host of the region's legends putting on a show to rival any seen on the national or international stage.
RT @Great_Run: Beautiful performance @OfficialSting #GNRMillion http://t.co/NVNGzluGaV— @McBurnieJohn 04 September 2014
Simply stunning. #GNRMillion http://t.co/Kp5sb6dlPj— @altweet_pet 04 September 2014
Keep flaming running! #GNRMillion @EveningChron http://t.co/SpEbBI5X7j— @mally1robbo 04 September 2014
Atmospheric #GNRMillion @EveningChron http://t.co/YzDowocavu— @mally1robbo 04 September 2014
Seriously, why don't we rule the world? #GNRMillion http://t.co/MpORRP6VhZ— @LizLongstonePR 04 September 2014
When the last ship sails! #GNRMillion performance by @OfficialSting 💗 http://t.co/7nmfqlzu6e— @heatherpea 04 September 2014
#GNRMillion http://t.co/wF2wAvZ7rk— @Markymarkoleary 04 September 2014
Floating displays on the Tyne included Viking longboats, and a pitwheel... And with that... Sting is now on stage
RT @NEWCASTLEQUAYS: FOR THE GLORIOUS NORTH!! #GNRMillion http://t.co/suurDKz0I7— @donna_petrie 04 September 2014
Dancers in hard hats and overalls have now taken to the Quayside as part of a routine designed to celebrate the North-East's industrial heritage.
So cool! What a privilege to be here with @NEWCASTLEQUAYS on @NEWCASTLEQUAYS! We love Ant & Dec! #GNRMillion http://t.co/5Vy6AP1jSt— @laurafays 04 September 2014
Now the ceremony has started in earnest with Jill Halfpenny narrating an epic poem written by prize winning North-East author David Almond.
IAAF president Lamine Diack is next in line to pay tribute to the GNR. "The Great North Run has for many decades given ordinary citizens from all over the world a chance to be inspired and seek to improve themselves and through charity, give generously to others."
"I want to be there" says the great Haile Gebreselassie #GNRMillion http://t.co/iQ5uJxDKwZ— @IssieK 04 September 2014
RT @Great_Run: The amazing @antanddec and legend Mark Knofler at the #GNRMillion #openingceremony http://t.co/H8J6T8NDmn— @witchhusband 04 September 2014
He thanks Brendan Foster for all his work in organising the event - and assures the crowd he will run the GNR again.
"See you next year", he signs off with.
Haile Gebrselassie is now being interviewed by Jonathan Edwards. He says he doesn't want to be the millionth finisher - but he wants to come back.
She holds the women's record for the course - and is hoping it's not beaten on Sunday.
"Every year the Great North Run is special," she says.
Tanni Grey-Thompson, who won the GNR multiple times has spoken of her pride in the event.... And now Paula Radcliffe is on the stage.
He also announces he has had a lovely chat with Newcastle United and England legend Peter Beardsley.
He tells the crowd he really enjoys the Great North Run and wants to keep coming back for years to come.
After some banter about the back end of pantomime horses, double Olympic hero Mo Farah is welcomed on stage.
Great North Run founder Brendan Foster is now on stage being interviewed by hosts Ant and Dec. He says tonight's event is to thank all the people who make the GNR what it is.
"The Great North Run is about ordinary people doing extraordinary things for extraordinary reasons," he tells the crowd.
Mark Knopfler is now on stage and is striking up the opening chords of Local Hero. His image is being projected onto a massive screen at the side of the Sage.
Ant and Dec arrive on stage to kick off the #GNRMILLION opening ceremony - & struggle to say "mass participation" http://t.co/g18ukBliIX— @FletchJourno 04 September 2014
Breaking news from our man Gavin Englebrecht: Ant and Dec have taken to the stage to open proceedings, to screams of delight from the crowd.
Taking the microphone, Dec promised the evening is going to be a "pure belter" of an opening ceremony.
Some interesting technical issues for our snapper Dave Wood tonight
RT @RaoulDixonNNP: #GNRMillion event opens its gates, as people rush along the quayside to grab the best views , pic by @raynerNNP http://…— @northnews 04 September 2014
Just seen Brendan Foster, Mo Farah, Haile Gebrselassie, Sue Barker, Tanni Grey-Thompson... and Peter Beardsley walk past #GNRMillion— @Lee_Coleman 04 September 2014
Crowds are gathering for big event
Just arrived at the #GNRmillion event. Crowds are here already. Looks fantastic. http://t.co/ZeehGAt4eM— @ChrisScott__ 04 September 2014
Crowds are starting to filter down to the Quayside. A sense of expectation in the air. This is certain to be a night to remember.
#GNRMillion Crowds waiting to get on to the Quayside for the Million Celebration. #exciting @BBCNews @ITVtynetees http://t.co/BpocBu2c98— @grantridley 04 September 2014
Mysterious yellow ball ready for action #GNRmillion http://t.co/GaTijFNDle— @AbbieStokes5 04 September 2014
And here's another pic from the Echo's Dave Wood
Beautiful weather for the opening ceremony #GNRmillion http://t.co/JTyQrcyeLg— @AbbieStokes5 04 September 2014
Really looking forward to #GNRMillion. Should be a very special night.— @LizLongstonePR 04 September 2014
#GNRMillion events begins @GNRCulture on Newcastle's Quayside this evening pic by @northnews @paulkingstonnnp http://t.co/P6aJfS5kPd— @RaoulDixonNNP 04 September 2014
Final preparations underway. Weather is perfect on the Quayside. http://t.co/hd9hAHe6Cm— @TheNorthernEcho 04 September 2014
Pictures are starting to come in of the build-up to the event. Here's one from Northern Echo snapper Dave Wood
Sting & Tim Healy among the stars spotted on The Quayside this afternoon with final preparations now well underway
DRIVERS are being warned that several roads will be closed during tonight’s Great North Run Million Opening Ceremony onTyneside.
Doors open at 7.30pm and the ceremony is expected to be over by 10pm.
Police have warned that a number of roads in the area will be closed between 6pm and midnight including Quayside Road, Sandhill, The Swing Bridge, Bottle Bank, Pipewellgate, Broad Chare and South Shore Road.
In particular, drivers are being warned the Tyne Bridge will be closed between 8.30pm and 10.30pm.
Superintendent Gillian Mitchell, of Northumbria Police, said: "We will be supporting the organisers throughout the event to ensure there is minimum disruption to motorists in the area and that traffic is flowing.
"There may be minor delays as there will be extra traffic in the area and motorists may want to leave slightly longer for their journey."
Check back for Gavin Engelbrecht's live updates starting at 7.30pm.