SUNDAY For Sammy, North-East Command Performance, may have had a change of venue from the City Hall to the Metro Radio Arena but the bigger space was packed out at both the matinee and evening performances to see what many claimed was the best show yet.

From the moment Pete Peverley appeared in the audience as an angelic Bobby Thompson to the mass all-artists-on-stage singalong to ‘Run For Home’, the three and a half hour show flew past in a blur of sketches, laughs an songs.

It was hard to pick out highlights as there were so many ... the Auf Wiedersehn boys Tim Healy, Kevin Whately and Christopher Fairbank stranded in Miami while returning home from Venezuela where “Den” had been kidnapped. A bag mix-up led to inevitable problems as the boys slipped easily into their former characters.

Geordie Coppers had mortician, Johnny Vegas, trying to get a policeman in investigate a death while a succession of TV crime solvers each claimed jurisdiction due to their past records, higher body counts and better viewing figures the task was passed from Sergeant Emma Watts (Corrie’s Angela Lonsdale), to Stephen Tompkinson’s DCI Banks, to Kevin Whately’s Inspector Lewis, before Brenda Blethyn stole the scene strolling on as Vera, in her green mac and hat and claimed control while the audience collapsed with laughter.

Musically too, it was excellent. Singer and producer Trevor Horn performed Video Killed The Radio Star, Ralph McTell a moving Streets of London, and a duet of Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me between Jersey Boy actor Ryan Molloy and Joe McElderry nearly brought the roof down. McElderry’s followed this with a genuinely spine-tingling version of Time To Say Goodbye.

A DVD of the show is set for release in April.

Dave Lawrence