BIG names from music and sport will be visiting universities, schools and colleges across Teesside to inspire students in the run-up to BBC Radio 1's Big Weekend.

Young people will get the chance to meet and learn from leading personalities in the three weeks before with a series of outreach sessions being organised to pave the way for the showcase event in Middlesbrough.

The sessions will involve a schools' tour, a takeover of Middlesbrough College and a skills showcase at Teesside University.

Organisers say the Inspire ME tour will give young people an introduction to working in the creative and sporting industries, providing them with the skill, know how and motivation to take the crucial first steps that could take them into the industry.

Big names from both industries are joining Radio 1 on the tour, including Brit Award winner Sam Fender, along with Radio 1’s Cel Spellman, Katie Thistleton and Jordan North. Other participants will include actress Jessica Daley, Sunday Girl magazine founder Abby Dennison, basketball player Theo Turner, musician Dylan Cartlidge, and boxer Joe Maphosa, who are all from the Middlesbrough area.

The activity kicks off on Tuesday May 7, and will run up to the Big Weekend in Stewart Park from May 24 to 26.

Katie Thistleton said: "I’m really looking forward to visiting schools and meeting some of the young people in Middlesbrough to chat about their careers and futures, it’s one of my favourite subjects to talk about. We’re bound to have a fun few weeks ahead of the Big Weekend."

Aled Haydn-Jones, Head of Programmes at Radio 1 added: "We’re really excited to be able to meet so many fantastic young people from Middlesbrough and beyond during the lead up. Only Radio 1 could bring so many talented people together and we hope to use their expertise to inspire anyone thinking about a career in the creative or sporting industries to take their first steps."

Artists including Miley Cyrus, Stormzy, Mumford & Sons, The 1975, Little Mix, Mark Ronson and MK are set to perform for 70,000 music fans at the event. The aim is to shine a light on the host city providing a boost for the local economy.

The Inspire ME tour sets off with a schools tour for 12 to 18 year olds from May 7. On May 9 Radio 1 takes over Middlesbrough College staging a range of workshops giving an introduction to creative careers.

On May 14, the tour heads to Teesside University showcasing BBC schemes and opportunities available to budding students. Several departments including BBC Music Introducing, BBC Tees, BBC Look North and BBC Writersroom will offer advice about how to get in to the industry. Work is also being done with the regions Student Radio Association