Sting will join a stellar cast at the Great North Run Million Opening Ceremony on Thursday 4th September, where he will perform in celebration of the region’s industrial history.

The Wallsend native will perform ‘The Last Ship’, from his critically acclaimed album and upcoming Broadway play of the same name – inspired by and drawn from his childhood growing up beside the Swan Hunter shipyard. Joining Sting on stage will be Jimmy Nail, who also stars in the new musical, along with some of the region’s most well-known traditional musicians, including renowned Northumbrian piper Kathryn Tickell, The Wilson Family and Mercury Music Prize nominees The Unthanks.

Great North Run Culture explores the unique partnership between art and sport, using the world’s largest half-marathon as a starting point for commissioning exciting, innovative and accessible projects.

The ambitious project, the first of its kind on Tyneside, has been devised by the creative geniuses behind the memorable London 2012 Paralympic Opening Ceremony and will include pyrotechnics, mass choreography, and an aerial performance over the Tyne.

Alongside Sting and Dire Straits legend Mark Knopfler, the event will also feature performances from multi-platinum selling festival favourites Chase & Status, narration from Tim Healy and Jill Halfpenny and for the first time, the Sage Gateshead will be transformed into a giant screen for large scale projections of film and animation.

Kicking off proceedings, the regions favourite entertainers, Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly, will welcome crowds to the celebration.

Ant and Dec will open the show on the Newcastle Gateshead Quayside and be a part of a special ceremony – involving the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) – which will officially acknowledge the Bupa Great North Run as the first event in the world to reach its one millionth finish.

Ant said, “We were the official starters of the Bupa Great North Run in 2010, and for us, the sheer scale of the event then seemed incredible. When you think about that happening year on year for over thirty years, resulting in the finish line being crossed one million times – it really is a special milestone.”

Dec added, “The show will be like nothing we’ve ever seen on the Tyne before. Obviously, as a Newcastle fan, I’m looking forward to hearing Mark Knopfler play Local Hero live, but we’ve heard a little bit more about what to expect and the whole night will be an epic celebration of everything that has made our region great.”

Tickets are on sale for the event at www.gnrmillion.org priced at £12 for adults and £7 for children.

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