Sting returns home to deliver Port of Tyne sponsored lecture

Sting returns home to deliver Port of Tyne sponsored lecture

Back on the Tyne – the river trip brought back memories for Sting

International superstar 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.

The 13th annual South Shields Lecture was organised by the former MP for South Shields David Miliband and sponsored by the Port of Tyne.  Despite stepping down as the local MP, Mr Miliband has continued to host the lecture – which was launched in 2001 with a talk by former Labour Party leader Neil Kinnock.

By giving the lecture, Sting also 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.

Before the event, he was the guest of Port of Tyne for a trip aboard a pilot boat on the river which inspired his latest album and Broadway Musical The Last Ship.

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 new 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, the superstar admitted he was nervous about his South Shields show, saying: “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.”

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.