FORMER Boyzone star Ronan Keating made an unexpected appearance in the North-East at the weekend after he flew in to help raise funds for one of the region’s disability charities.

More than £125,000 was raised at the Alan Shearer Foundation Ball following a glittering champagne reception and six course meal at the Hilton Hotel in Gateshead.

Keating said: “When Big Al asked me to perform at the Alan Shearer Foundation Ball I jumped at the chance to help my good friend in any way that I could.

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“The whole evening was spectacular and the atmosphere was electric.”

The former Newcastle and England skipper was joined by x-Factor winner Joe McElderry, who sang a rendition of Nessun Dorma with guests entertained by spectacular aerial dancers.

Shearer said: “It is vital that we continue to support the invaluable service that the foundation provides in the community, and I am absolutely delighted with the amount raised at the ball.

“The tables sold out very quickly and it really has exceeded our best expectations. Ronan flew over from Dublin as a surprise treat, delighting the audience.

“It was magical. As everyone know's the North East is incredibly important to me and to have such strong support across the region is simply brilliant.”