Stars head to CBBC Live in NewcastleGateshead

The live event in Leeds last year was a huge success and we're really excited about packing our bags and heading up to Newcastle and Gateshead for three days of family fun.Cheryl Taylor, Controller, CBBC
Date: 07.05.2014     Last updated: 07.05.2014 at 09.50
Category: CBBC
Details of this month’s CBBC Live in NewcastleGateshead event have been revealed today as stars of some of the channel’s biggest programmes prepare to pack their bags and head to the North East of England for three days of fun and live broadcasts.

CBBC Live in NewcastleGateshead - which is a collaboration between BBC North, NewcastleGateshead Initiative, Gateshead Council and Newcastle City Council - is free to attend and will take place in and around Baltic Square on Gateshead’s famous quayside on 29, 30 and 31 May.

Aimed at children from 6 to 12-years-old, the event will include live broadcasts from some of CBBC’s biggest stars and shows – including Blue Peter, Newsround and the infamous Hacker T Dog. Visitors can also take part in a host of hands-on activities, getting sporty, musical or digitally creative in the special interactive BBC Learning zones on Baltic Square and BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art itself.

As well as the live Blue Peter and Newsround programmes, there will also be an exclusive, specially produced one-off ‘Sam & Mark’s Geordie Challenge’ show broadcasting live from the event’s main stage and on CBBC, which will feature some surprise guests and dynamic duo Sam & Mark’s (Sam Nixon and Mark Rhodes) inimitable brand of interactive madness and mayhem.

The name of the brand-new dog that will be joining CBBC’s The Dumping Ground will also be revealed at the event. Thousands of children from across the UK have been suggesting names for the latest addition to the popular drama’s cast, and once shortlisted by an expert panel of judges, CBBC viewers will be able to vote for their favourite via the CBBC website. The most popular name will be revealed at CBBC Live in NewcastleGateshead and given to the latest canine character to join the North East based cast of CBBC’s exciting drama.

The CBBC presentation team, including Chris Johnson, Katie Thistleton, Hacker T Dog and his half brother Dodge T Dog will also be broadcasting live.

The fun starts on Thursday 29 May and runs from 12noon until 7pm on Thursday 29 and Friday 30 May, then from 9am to 3pm on Saturday 31 May. No tickets are required for many of the activities on site and families can simply turn up on the day, although there may be a queuing system in place at busy times. Under 18s must be accompanied by an adult and over 18s must be attending with a child.

South Shore Road next to Baltic Square will be host to the Main Stage where Blue Peter’s Barney Harwood, Lindsey Russell and Radzi Chinyanganya will be entertaining crowds with their live broadcast on Thursday 29 May from 5.30pm to 6pm. The exclusive Sam & Mark’s Geordie Challenge programme will be live from 5pm to 6pm on Friday 30 May, and CBBC stars Johnny and Inel will be on stage from 9.30am to 2.30pm on Saturday 31 May, hosting off-air entertainment and comedy plus one final not-to-be-missed dance-off to close the event.

In addition to the activities on the Main Stage, families can also enjoy performances on the second stage, including Sam & Mark kicking off CBBC Live in NewcastleGateshead with an amazing afternoon of entertainment on Thursday 29 May from 12.30pm to 4pm, as they try their hand at cheerleading with Tyneside’s own Cheercats; learn some Next Steps and have a go at beatboxing. On Friday 30 May (from 12.30pm to 4pm), Blue Peter’s Lindsey and Radzi will take centre stage as they entertain the crowds, including getting to learn some circus skills with Circus Central.

As well as the on-stage entertainment, kids will get a rare chance to work with CBBC stars in a variety of interactive zones, created by BBC Learning. Famous children’s authors and stars of CBBC programmes will be on hand for Storytelling workshops in BALTIC. Most of the activities in this zone require free tickets to take part and are available from reception at BALTIC or Newcastle’s Visitor Information Centre. From drama and comedy workshops to news-gathering and Meet the Author sessions, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. And if you have a burning question to put to cast members of locally filmed CBBC dramas Wolfblood or The Dumping Ground, visit the BBC Shows and Tours website and enter the ballot for a chance to get your hands on special programme screening tickets too.

In the digital Creative Zone, kids can learn how to create their own computer games and programmable gizmos. By guiding Hacker T Dog through a life-sized maze using the basic rules of coding, they can steer him towards his beloved meat paste sandwiches. No tickets are needed for the Creative Zone activities, except the MI High workshops. Spaces are limited and MI High session tickets are available from BALTIC or Newcastle Visitor Information Centre.

Kids can also find out which sport they are best suited to in the Blue Peter Get Inspired Sports Zone in Baltic Square where they can run, jump and stretch their way through the various challenges, and even find out more about the best nutrition to help them eat like an athlete. And if they still have some energy left, why not try singing, dancing and bopping over to the Music and Dance Zone? With everything from drum workshops to a human orchestra, there’s something for everyone to try.

Don't forget to look out for Dodge T Dog’s interactive treasure hunt around the site too. Register at the pod by the main site entrance, and see if you have what it takes to become a CBBC Hero! And for little brothers and sisters there is the opportunity to have some swashbuckling fun in our special CBeebies Zone.

Cheryl Taylor, Controller of CBBC, said: "CBBC has a very special relationship with the North East and two of our most popular dramas Wolfblood and The Dumping Ground, plus a brand new drama Harriet’s Army are made in the region - as well as a brand new documentary series - Our School, which will be coming to the CBBC channel very soon. The live event in Leeds last year was a huge success and we're really excited about packing our bags and heading up to Newcastle and Gateshead for three days of family fun."

Beyond the main event site in and around Baltic Square, children and their families can also enjoy a range of activities hosted by partners from across Newcastle and Gateshead. Craft sessions, storytelling, and music workshops are among the exciting activities on offer at a number of venues, including Sage Gateshead, Gateshead Central Library, Newcastle City Library and many more. Visit for more information on what’s happening in the area.

Following CBBC Live on Saturday 31 May, there’s also an opportunity for families to stay in BALTIC Square and join the BBC’s first ever Junior Songs of Praise Singalong, from 3.30pm, accompanied by a live band and some very special guests. With feel-good songs everyone knows and loves, the event is free for children and their families. For keen young singers and a guaranteed place at the front of the crowd, come to the music rehearsal on 29th May. For more information, details of where the music rehearsal will be taking place and how to apply for free tickets for the Junior Songs of Praise Singalong, email

For more information on CBBC, please visit . For more information on the CBBC Live in NewcastleGateshead workshops and ideas on things to do with the family visit