Got a TV Licence?

You need one to watch live TV on any channel or device, and BBC programmes on iPlayer. It’s the law.

Find out more
I don’t have a TV Licence.


  1. Updates on Thursday 26 February 2015

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Good evening

That's all for BBC Local Live in the North East for today. We'll be back at 08:00 tomorrow. We leave you with this photo Tracey Laing snapped of fellow walkers taking in the view of Lindisfarne Castle.

The view of Lindisfarne Castle
Tracey Laing

If you'd like us to feature your pictures, send them to us by

email, tweet us
@BBCNewsNE or join our
Facebook page.

Drivers on mobiles 'often texting'

People who use their mobile phones illegally while driving are

more likely to be sending texts or using social media than making a phone call, the Department for Transport says.

It carried out observations at 60 sites, including in Newcastle and Durham, and 30 locations in Scotland, last October.

Man on phone

Overall, the DfT found 1.1% of drivers holding a mobile in their hand compared with 0.5% with a phone to their ear. Van drivers used their phones the most, with 2.7% falling foul of the law.

Police accused of plant protester witch hunt

A union has accused Cleveland Police of targeting members in a "witch hunt" over protests at a new energy plant.

The GMB claims police "targeted" unemployed construction workers for questioning ahead of Monday's protest.

Protestors in Wilton

Protests took place at Wilton-based Sita Sembcorp, which the union claims is using low-paid foreign labour and underpaying local workers.

Cleveland Police said officers actually openly sought to engage with organisers to ensure it went ahead safely.

Council boss 'wrongly branded terrorist'

A council boss was accused of being involved in a terrorist plot when he was wrongly identified at a Teesside town.

Bish Sharif, head of teenage services at Derbyshire County Council,

said his trip to Redcar was ruined when police dragged him out of a cafe and detained him by mistake.

A Cleveland Police spokeswoman said the incident was down to a misunderstanding. She said: "We would like to apologise for any disruption to their afternoon caused by some confusion with descriptions."

'Dream coming true'

Newcastle Falcons have signed Tonga international scrum-half Sonatane Takulua from New Zealand-based ITM Cup side Northland.

Takulua, 24, has agreed terms at Kingston Park through until the end of next season. The playmaker will add cover to the Falcons' existing first-grade half-backs Mike Blair and Ruki Tipuna.

He said: "I'm looking forward to learning and sharing skills. I can't wait to get on the field.

Sonatane Takulua
Getty Images

"My dream of playing full-time rugby is finally coming true. It's been a lot of hard work and sacrifice but I'm delighted to be at Newcastle."

Exploited girl 'placed in care'

A teenage girl thought to have been sexually exploited should be placed in secure accommodation for her own safety, a family judge has ruled.

At a family court hearing in Newcastle, Judge Simon Wood said a "pattern" had emerged of the 17-year-old absconding and being found "in the company of inappropriate, much older Asian males" and she had been a "very significant victim of child sexual exploitation".

Judge Wood said he had considered targeting the men who were exploiting the teenager, who was in council care and whose family had lived in Newcastle, but concluded he could not.

He said a senior detective had "impressed" on him that as long as the girl was in secure accommodation she was "safe" and "could not be raped or worse". Social services had echoed the concerns.

On the programme tonight

BBC Look North

They sprang up in Germany, only months ago. Now they're headed here. Pegida - a right wing group opposed to what they call the "Islamisation of Europe" - have chosen Newcastle for their first rally in the UK, this weekend.

They claim to be peaceful and non-racist. But they'll be faced by what could be one of the biggest counter-demonstrations this region has seen for years.

The police say they won't be taking any special action, and expect it to be "business as usual" in the city centre on Saturday.

We've got more on this from 18:30 on Look North on BBC One.

Ross Noble on Radio 2

BBC Radio 2

If you missed Geordie comedian Ross Noble along with Jason Manford and Phil Jupitus on BBC Radio 2, you can listen again


They discussed the staging of The Producers that's touring the UK featuring all three funnymen.

Jason Manford, Ross Noble and Phil Jupitus

If only Stephen Fry and Alan Davies were here, this would be our dream QI line up!

Gutierrez 'never lost faith'

On the news that

Jonas Gutierrez could make his first Premier League appearance on Saturday since overcoming testicular cancer, he
tweets: It was hard but I never lost faith. Big step can be this weekend, so happy to be in the squad again. Always looking forward.

Jonas Gutierrez
Getty Images

MP highlights grassroots 'crisis'

Easington Labour MP Grahame Morris has highlighted a "growing crisis" in grassroots football and called on Culture Secretary Sajid Javid to back his party's plan for the Premier League to hand over 5% of its revenue to smaller clubs.

Mr Javid agreed there should be more investment in the grassroots game, telling MPs in the Commons: "The Premier League already does a lot and I welcome that and I think we should all commend that. But I think with the recent result of the increase in their finances we can all expect them to do more."

But he added: "I have to say I don't accept there is a need for legislation. What there is a need for is a continuing active dialogue with the Premier League to make sure that the investment in grassroots football continues."

BT and Sky paid a combined £5.136bn to show 168 live games per season between 2016 and 2019.

The BBC paid £204m to renew the rights for Match of the Day for three more years.

News on the hour

The top local headlines at 17:00 include:

  • BBC Tees: Stockton Council has agreed a 1.9% increase in council tax.
  • BBC Newcastle: Martin Emmerson and Anne Leuchars have a round-up of the day's news.

Newcastle 'must emulate Manchester'

Carole Walker

Political correspondent, BBC News

The leader of the House of Commons, William Hague, has said other northern cities should be encouraged to emulate the example of Manchester, which has taken control of health spending.

Mr Hague told a Westminster lunch the government was engaged in "the biggest drive in decades to decentralise" powers with policies such as the northern powerhouse and city deals.

He said cities like Leeds Liverpool and Newcastle should not be alienated by Manchester's move "they should be encouraged to emulate it", he said "it's up to them to put forward their own plans".

Mr Hague said the Tories had gained seats in the north at the last election and were in "good shape" to hold them at the coming election. He said economic growth in the north would over time result in the Tories gaining greater strength in the north.

Band buoyed by membership turnaround

A historic Teesside brass band which had looked set to break up due to a shortage of members

has seen a transformation in its fortunes.

South Bank Brass Band has been going for 150 years in Middlesbrough but in recent times membership fell from 25 people to 13.

South Bank Brass Band

However, during the last 12 months new musicians have been queuing up to join.

Find out why.

Clear cold night

Paul Mooney

BBC Weather presenter

A clearer and colder night than of late, with isolated blustery showers moving in on the westerly wind. These showers will mainly affect the North Pennines and Cheviots, with the risk of ice patches greatest here along with some slight snow accumulations.

Weather forecast

Minimum temperature: 0C (32F).

Check the forecast near you.

Giaccherini undergoes surgery

Sunderland forward Emanuele Giaccherini is

unlikely to play again this season after undergoing surgery on an ankle injury, says manager Gus Poyet.

The Italy international, 29, has been ruled out for a minimum of 12 weeks after having the operation on Thursday.

Emanuele Giaccherini
Getty Images

Giaccherini, a £6.5m signing from Juventus in July 2013, has made just two Premier League starts this season. "We need to be sure he is 100% and we wish him well and hope he will make a full recovery," said Poyet.

'Business as usual'

Rachel Kerr

BBC News

Northumbria Police has held a media conference about a planned demonstration in Newcastle by anti-Islam group Pegida.

Chief Supt Laura Young, area commander for Newcastle, said: "Pegida are a group who have asked to come into the city centre of Newcastle to hold an assembly which we are treating as a peaceful assembly. That will be at 11:00 in the Bigg Market.

"Newcastle Unites also requested a march from Gallowgate to Newgate Street - a peaceful march. It is business as usual. People should continue with their plans but maybe allow a bit of extra time."

News on the hour

The top local headlines at 16:00 include:

  • BBC Tees: Stockton Council has agreed a 1.9% increase in council tax.
  • BBC Newcastle: Martin Emmerson and Anne Leuchars have a round-up of the day's news.

Give us your feedback

What do you think of BBC Local Live? It's written by reporters across the North East and brings you the latest news, sport, travel and weather all in one place.

We'd like your feedback about this service.

Dimi extends Boro contract

Greece international goalkeeper Dimi Konstantopoulos has extended his contract with Middlesbrough, although the terms are undisclosed.

Konstantopoulos, 36, has emerged as Boro's first-choice keeper this season, despite the permanent arrival of Tomas Mejias from Real Madrid. He currently has 14 clean sheets in 29 league and cup games this term.

Dimi Konstantopoulos
Getty Images

Boro boss Aitor Karanka said: "It's great news for everyone. Dimi is the kind of player you want in your squad. He was the third goalkeeper in the squad when we came here and now he is number one. He brings experience to the dressing room and he is a very important member of our squad on and off the pitch."

Countryside 999 on iPlayer

Consett Police

tweets: Have you caught up with the team who have featured as part of the BBC programme #countryside999 #farmwatch

Police with sheep

The Durham Constabulary officers investigated suspected sheep rustling.

You can watch the programme on iPlayer now.

Four treated after crash

Stephanie Finnon

BBC Newcastle

Four people are being treated in hospital after a crash in the West End of Newcastle last night.

Two cars collided in Whickham View just before 19:00. One man is in a critical condition in the RVI and the others are stable.

A 24-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the incident - it's unclear whether he was in one of the vehicles.

News on the hour

The top local headlines at 15:00 include:

  • BBC Newcastle: A County Durham dog breeder who lost an arm when his pets turned on him has appeared in court and denied owning dangerously out of control dogs following a separate incident.
  • BBC Tees: An emergency governors meeting is being held tonight after the Government told Durham Free School it will have to close at Easter.

'New lease of life'

BBC Sport

Newcastle manager John Carver has rolled out the old "it won't be an easy game" cliche as his side prepare to face Aston Villa on Saturday.

"I've seen the difference in Villa straight away under Tim. They are going front to back a bit quicker," he said. "Villa have got a new lease of life and more energy."

Savile abuse - what has happened

Confused by the number of different reports? Read our


In brief:

- The main focus is on Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Buckinghamshire, where he is believed to have assaulted more than 60 people - the youngest of them aged eight

- A report by former barrister and NHS executive Kate Lampard, which looked at how Savile could have abused victims at NHS hospitals across the country, has set out recommendations to ensure it cannot happen again

- Reports into Savile's activities in relation to other hospitals and hospice premises have been published by the relevant hospital trusts

- The Department for Education has also published a string of reports by local authorities into allegations of abuse by Savile at a number of children's homes and schools.

Sunny spells will develop

Kay Crewdson

Weather Presenter, BBC Look North

Rather cloudy at first but it will soon turn sunnier through the afternoon. Most parts then staying dry although the odd wintry shower can't be ruled out across the Pennines.

Weather forecast

Maximum temperature: 7C (45F).

Check the forecast near you.

Gutierrez back in NUFC squad

BBC Sport

One piece of good news for Newcastle is the return to the squad of midfielder Jonas Gutierrez after overcoming testicular cancer.

Gutierrez had surgery to remove his left testicle in his native Argentina in September before undergoing chemotherapy treatment.

He played 87 minutes as captain for the Under-21 side in December.

News on the hour

The top local headlines at 14:00 include:

  • BBC Newcastle: A County Durham dog breeder who lost an arm when his pets turned on him has appeared in court and denied owning dangerously out of control dogs following a separate incident.
  • BBC Tees: Council tax across Stockton is going up by almost 2%.

Carver on Newcastle v Villa (Saturday, 15:00 GMT)

BBC Sport

Newcastle manager John Carver has been reflecting on last weekend's 5-0 drubbing against Manchester City.

John Carver
Getty Images

"After that result last weekend, I was desperate to get back on the training pitch," he said.

"We will hopefully put it right this weekend. "I let the players suffer on Monday a little, but everyone is in good spirits now and Saturday is an opportunity to put it right."

Arm-loss dog breeder in court

A dog breeder who lost an arm when his pets savaged him has denied owning dangerously out of control dogs following a separate incident where another dog walker was allegedly attacked.

Stephen Potts, 48, is charged over seven dogs he and a friend were walking when they allegedly attacked 63-year-old Lindsay Edwards in Belmont, County Durham, on 21 October.

Mr Potts, from Low Pittington, County Durham, and his friend Patricia Ayre, 66, from Sedgefield, appeared at Durham Crown Court and denied all seven counts of being in charge of a dangerously out of control dog.

A two-day trial was listed for 16 June. Both defendants were granted bail.

News on the hour

The top local headlines at 13:00 include:

Man jailed over party-goer death

A man has been jailed over the death of a party-goer on Tyneside.

At Newcastle Crown Court, Danyl Dryden pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Whitley Bay man Robert Littlefair (pictured) in September.

Robert Littlefair and son
Northumbria Police

Mr Littlefair, 24, was punched at a property in Plessey Terrace, Heaton, Newcastle, and died later at the Royal Victoria Infirmary after suffering a bleed on the brain. Dryden, also 24 and of no fixed abode, was sentenced to six years in prison.

Stockton's council tax increased

Council tax across Stockton is going up by almost 2%.

Councillors say the extra money will help protect front-line services at a time when they say central government funding is being cut.

The authority has already made savings of £34m during the last five years and cut its workforce by more than 700. An extra £17m needs to be saved by 2019.

News on the hour

The top local headlines at 12:00 include:

Bionic eye will 'restore sight'

Scientists at a North East university are

working to help "restore sight" to people who have lost their eyes.

Experts at Newcastle University are developing a microchip implant for the brain which transmits a signal to a camera in a bionic eye.

An eye

The technology is currently being tested and the team behind the project estimate human trials could get under way in the next 10 years, as Look North's Sharon Barbour reports.