THIS week 15-years-ago, a charity fundraising stunt made a retired window cleaner a face to look out for.

Joe Angus had shaved off half his beard in front of the regulars at his local pub, The Brooms, in Ouston near Chester-le-Street, to raise money for the children’s cancer unit at Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary.

Customers at The Brooms helped raise £400 by the time he shaved the other half off at the Falcon Pub, South Pelaw, Chester-le-Street.

He chose the second pub for the landlord’s nephew, seven-year-old Daniel Thompson, who was undergoing treatment.

Mr Angus said: "I grew the beard deliberately just to have half shaved off.

"I've had quite a few strange looks since then, but people have been really good."

Also that week, pupils were given the rare opportunity to graffiti a school building for charity.

The science labs of Durham High School for Girls were due to be demolished, so pupils donned overalls and donated £1 each to decorate the building.

Students Heidi Sharkey and Laura Alliston came up with the idea, and the money was raised in aid of a multiple sclerosis charity.

Teacher Patricia Burton said: "Four labs were used so everyone wasn't crowding into the same place. They had a whale of a time."

And students at the University of Teeside got the chance to meet professional slacker, Bart Simpson, when his voice actor visited Middlesbrough.

Nancy Cartwright, also voice actor of Nelson Muntz and Ralph Wiggum in the adult cartoon The Simpsons, was at the annual animation festival, Animex, to talk to students and schoolchildren about chasing their dreams.

The event also featured designer Jason Schleifer - the man responsible for bringing orc-eating Shelob, one of the terrors of Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy, alive on screen.

The 29-year-old said: "I am scared to death of spiders."

He added: "We are in the design process for Shelob, and she's going to be pretty creepy. Just looking at all the reference material on spiders is enough for me.''