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BACK ON TYNE AS STING VISITED THE PORT OF TYNE02 Mar 2015

Global superstar Sting was the star attraction at the 13th annual South Shields Lecture organised by former MP for South Shields David Miliband and sponsored by the Port of Tyne.


Sting, jetted in from Dubai to add his name to the long list of national figures who have given the annual address at Harton Technology College in South Shields.

David Miliband vowed to continue to host the lecture - which was launched in 2001 with a talk by former Labour Party leader Neil Kinnock - despite stepping down as MP.

Before the show, Sting took a boat trip on the river which inspired his latest album and Broadway Musical The Last Ship as guest of lecture sponsor Port of Tyne.

Andrew Moffat, Port of Tyne's Chief Executive Officer, said: "It seemed fitting to invite Sting and David back to the river, he was interested to see ships being loaded and was pointing out Wallsend to his friends on the pilot boat."

Later the audience at Harton Technology College were kept entertained by a mix of memories and music, as Sting spoke about his upbringing on Tyneside and played tracks from his Last Ship album and his hit songs, Roxanne and Message in a Bottle.

Despite decades at the top, playing to sell-out audiences, all over the world, he admitted he was nervous about his South Shields show.

Sting said: "This is the first time I have performed in South Shields.
"I played Dubai on Friday night and Perth the night before. I didn't bat an eyelid playing in front of 12,000 people.
"But I felt rather nervous coming to speak here today.
"To speak in front of your own people, to your own community, can be tough."

David Miliband added: "I'm really tremendously thrilled to be back in South Shields.
"I'm deeply proud and honoured that a global icon like Sting agreed to give the lecture."
Sting followed in the footsteps of the likes of former Prime Minister Tony Blair, Star Trek actor Patrick Stewart, legendary playwright Alan Bennett and comedian and author David Walliams in giving the lecture.

The internationally acclaimed singer will return to his roots once more next month, with three live dates at The Sage in Gateshead.

After a standing ovation, Sting was whisked away by David Miliband to his favourite South Shields chippie - Colman's on Ocean Road - for a true taste of home.

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