Fans of one of the UK’s most popular comedy-drama series were said to be crying with excitement at a special screening of the show in Newcastle to mark its 40th anniversary which included a surprise visit from one of the stars of the show.

Episode one of Auf Wiedersehen, Pet hit the screens in Tyneside Cinema 40 years to the minute after it premiered on ITV on Saturday November 11 thanks to a group of fans who run a site dedicated to the show.

The series ran from 1983 to 1986 with 4 seasons and chronicled the lives of seven Geordie bricklayers including Tim Healy and Kevin Whately who leave the UK and find jobs in Dusseldorf, Germany.

The Northern Echo: Auf Wiedersehen, Pet star Jimmy Nail.Auf Wiedersehen, Pet star Jimmy Nail. (Image: PAUL GLASS)

The special showing organised by Auf Wiedersehen, Pet fan site in association with ‘The Sunday for Sammy Trust’ and North-East cancer charity ‘FACT’ (Fighting All Cancers Together) was said to have drawn fans from all over the UK.

Following the screening and a Q&A session with stars and production members of the show, Jimmy Nail who played Leonard “Oz” Osbourne in the series made an unexpected appearance much to the delight of fans.

Organisers of the event Lee Barratt and Andy Patrick were delighted with the audience reaction to the screening and thanked everyone for supporting the fan site.

“This has been a tremendous evening,” said Andy. “We’ve worked very closely with Jimmy to get everything right for the fans on this very special anniversary.

The Northern Echo: Andy Patrick, Lesley Saint-John and Lee Barratt.Andy Patrick, Lesley Saint-John and Lee Barratt. (Image: PAUL GLASS)


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“The atmosphere was electric and their reaction when he walked into the theatre after a video message from Tim Healy was out of this world. Some fans were crying with excitement.”

Lee added: “The fact that we sold out a cinema auditorium in just a few hours for an episode that everyone in the room knows word for word was remarkable.

“The show is as fresh as it was 40 years ago and I’d like to thank all of the fans, the crew who travelled the country to get here and of course Jimmy and Lesley for their entertaining interviews.”