BIG Brother star Jonny Regan helped open a property centre by cutting a house-shaped cake.

The celebrity, who is appearing in pantomime in Newcastle, was invited to the launch of Sunderland Housing Group's property shop at Lynas House, in Frederick Street, Sunderland.

The shop is part of the group's new approach to letting homes, which aims to revolutionise the way customers access its 36,000 properties.

Customers are now able to visit the property centre, look in the local paper, visit their local area office or log on to the Internet to look for homes.

The group has also dropped the old points system in favour of a system based on choice, which gives customers the opportunity to see and apply for as many properties as they like.

Sunderland Housing Group chief executive Peter Walls said: "Early indications from customers have been very positive and we are confident that this will be a great success."