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  1. Updates on Friday 23 December 2016

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Chris Ashton

Chris Ashton scores a try on his return from a 13-week suspension to help Saracens beat Newcastle in the Premiership.

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Our live coverage across the day

Ana Guerra-Moore

BBC News Online

That's us all done for Christmas - We hope you have a lovely time.

All the festivities and bank holidays mean that we won't be back until Wednesday.

Until then, you can find the latest news online, on BBC Tees, on BBC Newcastle and on Look North.

In the meantime have a merry Christmas from all of us at the BBC.

Weather: Windy and rain overnight

BBC Weather

Remaining windy overnight with clear spells and scattered showers spreading in from the west.

Chilly, with a slight frost in some sheltered parts.  

Weather graph

Check the weather where you are.

Sam Allardyce 'would sort Crystal Palace players out'

BBC Sport

Sam Allardyce would "sort the players out" if he is named Crystal Palace manager, says Eagles caretaker boss Keith Millen.

Allardyce, who kept Sunderland in the Premier League last season, is in talks with Palace about replacing Alan Pardew, who was sacked yesterday.

Millen said he did not know for certain who would succeed Pardew, but suggested Allardyce, 62, would be good option.

"If it is Sam, Palace are getting an experienced manager," he said.

"Certainly for players he is an experienced Premier League manager. He did a great job keeping Sunderland up."

Sam Allardyce
Getty Images

Two pedestrians injured when car hits them

A two pedestrians were hit by a car in Middlesbrough on Wednesday.

As a result, one of them, aged 40, was taken to James Cook University Hospital with a broken knee and the other, 25, was treated for broken ribs and bruising.

The incident took place on the Chesneywood junction with Cinderwood.

Burnley will be a tough test

Burnley v Middlesbrough (Monday, 15:00 GMT)


Aitor Karanka
Getty Images

More from Aitor Karanka: "I expect a very tough game at Burnley. Sixteen of their seventeen points came at home and they are a direct rival in the league table." 

Points win prizes

Burnley v Middlesbrough (Monday, 15:00 GMT)


Aitor Karanka

Middlesbrough boss Aitor Karanka says that his side are starting to get results when they play badly.

"We need to improve our performance level from Swansea but we would have lost that game in September or October. We're adding maturity," he said in reference to their 3-0 win over the Swans last weekend.  

The Spaniard will be giving his players the afternoon off on Christmas Day after a morning training session.

Adventurer takes on Antarctic summit to complete global climbing challenge

The Shields Gazette

A mountaineer from South Tyneside is certain of getting a white Christmas – by heading off to Antarctica.

Steve Berry
The Shields Gazette
Jonjo Shelvey in action for Newcastle United

Newcastle's Jonjo Shelvey was banned for racial abuse on the strength of "clear and compelling" evidence, the FA confirms.

Read more

Corrosive substance poured over car

A car has been damaged in Northumberland after a corrosive substance was thrown over it.

The type of substance is unknown, but the offenders caused £500 worth of damage, police confirmed.

The incident happened yesterday at about 23:20 in Warkworth Terrace, Broomhill.

BreakingJoey Barton 'charged over betting claims during NUFC spell'

Burnley midfielder Joey Barton has been charged with misconduct, with the Football Association claiming he placed 1,260 bets in the past 10 years.

This potentially covers the time he played for Newcastle between 2007 and 2011.

More to follow.

Acclaimed choir visit Look North

The Mums in Durham choir reached the semi finals of the BBC Two show The Choir, hosted by Gareth Malone.

The show aimed find Britain's most entertaining amateur choir.

Tonight they are bringing Christmas cheer to the Look North Studio:

The Choir and Carol Malia

Watch them from 18:30 on BBC One.

Runnymede Road 'most expensive street in North East'

Ever fancied living on Millionaire's Row? Well, if you've more than a few pounds in your pocket then Runnymede Road in Ponteland might be the place for you.

It's the most expensive address in the North East with properties costing an average of £1,103,000, research by Lloyds Bank has revealed.

That's probably beyond the reach of most of us, but it still pales in comparison with the most expensive place in the UK to buy property - London's Eaton Square

Prices in that part of Belgravia, pictured below, cost almost £17m.


London's Eaton Square

Kirchoff out for 12 weeks

Jan Kirchoff

Sunderland defender Jan Kirchoff has been ruled out until late February after having surgery to repair knee cartiledge.

The 26-year-old suffered the injury during last week's Premier League defeat by Chelsea, coming off after 57 minutes.

Kirchhoff was making only his third appearance of the season, after two months out with a hamstring injury.

Severe disruption: A66 North Yorkshire both ways

BBC Travel

A66 North Yorkshire both ways severe disruption, between A6108 and M6 J40.

A66 North Yorkshire - A66 closed to high sided vehicles in both directions between Scotch Corner in Middleton Tyas and Penrith, because of strong winds.

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

Bradley Lowery receives more than 250,000 cards

Terminally ill Bradley Lowery from Hartlepool has received more than 250,000 Christmas cards from across the world.

Local people have been helping the five-year-old open all his post:

View more on facebook

Severe disruption: A66 North Yorkshire both ways

BBC Travel

A66 North Yorkshire both ways severe disruption, between A6108 and M6 J40.

A66 North Yorkshire - A66 blocked and queuing traffic in both directions between Scotch Corner in Middleton Tyas and Penrith, because of an overturned lorry.

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

Northumbria Police's animal team get in the Christmas spirit

What better way to celebrate Christmas than with cute animals wearing Santa hats?

Northumbria Police have shared these festive pictures on Twitter:

View more on twitter

Travel: Revised train services between Glasgow Central and Newcastle

BBC Travel

Revised service on ScotRail between Glasgow Central and Newcastle due to bad weather.

More travel updates here.

Moyes would be 'surprised' if SAFC sell Defoe

Nisha Joshi

BBC broadcast journalist

David Moyes says he'd be very surprised if Sunderland do any business regarding Jermaine Defoe in January.

David Moyes

Teesside man 'rows' equivalent of English Channel

BBC Tees

A Teesside man is rowing the equivalent of the English Channel to raise awareness of mental health issues.

This morning Richard Kirby, 52 and from Normanby, aimed to clock up 34 kilometres by lunchtime.

Our reporter Louise Hobson went to see him in action:

View more on twitter

Durham's Dunelm House facing demolition

BBC Look North

North East and Cumbria

A 1960s Brutalist concrete building in Durham could be demolished after the government refused to list the landmark block.

Durham University wants to demolish Dunelm House Students' Union building in the city's New Elvet and replace it with a new building, housing a performance space that will be open to the public as well as students.

However, the move has mobilised fans of Dunelm House who are organising petitions in the hope of saving a building they claim is a distinguished part of Durham's cityscape. 

Dunelm House, Durham

Shelvey needs to be 'more mature'

Newcastle United

Jonjo Shelvey.

Newcastle United boss Rafael Benitez has told Jonjo Shelvey to be "more mature" after the midfielder was found guilty of using racially abusive language.

Shelvey, 24, has opted not to contest a five-game ban.   

"We support Jonjo, and the main thing is that he knows he has to be careful in the future and concentrate on his football," says the Spaniard.  

"I hope he will be more mature after these things."  

This... is how to do Christmas

Ana Guerra-Moore

BBC News Online

In case you missed it yesterday, a County Durham family have gone all out this Christmas.

Yes, that is all one garden.

View more on facebook

Travel: Transporter Bridge in Middlesbrough closed

BBC Travel

The Transporter Bridge in Middlesbrough is closed in both directions because of strong winds.

Follow our latest travel updates here.

Darlington 1883 set for town return after four years away

BBC Look North

North East and Cumbria

Darlington 1883 are due to play their first match in the town for four years on Boxing Day.

The Quakers went out of business in 2012, since when they've been sharing a ground with Bishop Auckland Football Club.

Now Darlington's new home at Blackwell Meadows - belonging to rugby team Darlington RFC - is due to host the club's match against Halifax Town. The venue will hold 3,000 people.  

Blackwell Meadows
Premiership half-term report: Jeremy Guscott rates title contenders
Near the halfway stage of the 2016-17 season, BBC Sport's Jeremy Guscott assesses the sides vying to be Premiership champions.

SAFC players recite famous Christmas movie quotes

Here's something a bit different courtesy of the Sunderland players.

Jordan Pickford, John O'Shea and Seb Larsson (amoung others) were asked to read out famous quotes from festive movies.

Here's the result:

View more on youtube

Weather: Windy with rain spreading

Abbie Dewhurst

Weather Presenter, BBC Look North

Brace yourselves - it will become very windy through the morning.

Rain is set to spread from the north, becoming heavy and persistent during the afternoon, accompanied by very strong, gusty winds with gales in exposure.

Rain will clear to the east by evening with winds becoming less strong.

It will remain windy overnight with clear spells and scattered showers spreading in from the west. Expect it to be chilly, with a slight frost in some sheltered parts.  

Weather forecast for Friday 23 December, 2016

Sam Allardyce frontrunner to replace sacked Alan Pardew

BBC Sport

Former Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce is the frontrunner to replace Alan Pardew as Crystal Palace manager.

Pardew was sacked on Thursday with the club 17th in the Premier League after a run of one win in 11 games.

Palace have no agreement or contract in place with Allardyce and other options are being considered.

But the 62-year-old is the most likely candidate, with club chairman Steve Parish saying Pardew's "expansive style of football hasn't worked".

"Now we're going to wind the dial back the other way," Parish told BBC Sport.

Sam Allardyce
Getty Images

Storm Barbara set to blow in for lunchtime

Martin Lewes


The latest forecasts say Storm Barbara's likely to be at its (her?) strongest from lunchtime.

View more on twitter

The main impact is expected to be winds gusting up to 70mph, and rain will be intense for a while, but it isn't expected to bring widespread flooding.

Train companies on the West Coast Main Line have already announced they'll be observing a 50mph speed limit between 12:00 and 18:00.

We'll bring you more throughout the day.

Jonjo Shelvey

Newcastle midfielder Jonjo Shelvey will not contest a five-game ban imposed for using racially abusive language.

Read more

Newcastle International Airport prepares for Christmas getaway

Colin Briggs

Look North

The great Christmas getaway is in full swing - Storm Barbara permitting - with many people jetting off to either visit relatives or enjoy some winter sunshine.

It's one of Newcastle Airport's most important times of the year and more than 135,000 passengers are expected to travel through the airport last Monday and 2 January, with more than 1,200 flights during this time.

Newcastle International Airport
Newcastle International Airport

Travel: Delays on A66 in Middlesbrough after three-vehicle crash

BBC Travel

There's delays on the A66 in Middlesbrough at the Cargo Fleet Lane junction following an accident involving three vehicles.

Get the latest travel news here.

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