Christmas is coming with Coca Cola trucks hitting Middlesbrough

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The world famous Coca Cola trucks at Centre Square, Middlesbrough

The holidays are approaching fast as the famous Coca Cola trucks arrived in  Middlesbrough as part of their tour of the United Kingdom  to help us get into the Christmas Spirit.

Parents and children of all ages gathered from all over Middlesbrough to gaze upon the big red trucks that have been made from the Coca Cola commercial, which is aired through our televisions during the Christmas Holidays.

You could feel the excitement in the air from both children and adults who gathered around Centre Square to take a picture with the world famous attraction.

With the Coca Cola trucks being a commercial theme for the Christmas holidays, the countdown has truly begun. From all of us at tside, we wish your a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year.

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The voice of Middlesbrough FC Alistair Brownlee fighting cancer battle.

GET WELL SOON ALI: Boro fans send their best wishes to Alistair Brownlee who has been diagnosed with cancer. (Photo Courtesy of BBC Tees)

GET WELL SOON ALI: Boro fans send their best wishes to Alistair Brownlee who has been diagnosed with cancer. (Photo Courtesy of BBC Tees)

Boro commentator and BBC Tees presenter Alistair Brownlee has revealed he has been  diagnosed with lower bowel cancer.

BBC Tees sent out a message sending him ‘Love and best wishes’ for a man who is in every Middlesbrough fans’ heart.

The BBC posted a statement on its Facebook page which said: “We’re sending our love and best wishes to BBC Tees Breakfast Presenter and Boro commentator Ali Brownlee.”

“Ali has been diagnosed with cancer of the lower bowel and starts his treatment very soon.

“Ali won’t be on BBC Tees for a while, but we know our listeners will join us in wishing him well with his treatment.”

Born on Byelands Street,  which is just a stones throw away from Boro’s old home Ayresome Park, Ali has been reporting on Middlesbrough since the 1980s and has commentated on some of the Boro’s  biggest games.

Famous for his passionate commentating and love for the club he has followed since he was a boy he is also a familiar face on Teesside often being seen around the town and speaking to fans.

Who could forget his ecstatic commentary as Boro claimed their first major honour  when Middlesbrough won the League Cup with Ali screaming: “The Referee says that is enough, history has been made at The Millenium Stadium!”.

His love for The Boro has made him one of the most famous voices on Teesside over the past 30 years and this unfortunate news will  come as a shock to Teessiders and Boro fans alike.

Ali posted a message on his Facebook page saying: “Today has been the most inspirational and humbling day of my life with so many kind, thoughtful and uplifting messages.”

“I do apologise that I have not been able to reply to everyone individually, but all have made a great impression. Thankyou so much.

“I know that I have a tough battle ahead, but with your support I am equally sure that my dream of being back commentating on The Boro will be fulfilled.”

tside sends Ali Brownlee our best wishes.


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Teesside Facing Further Job Loses


More than 700 civil services jobs are set to be axed following the announcement of the closure of three tax offices in the Teesside area.

Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is set to close two offices in Middlesbrough and one in Stockton by 2021.

The HMRC is planning to centralise its work in the North-East region with the building of a new centre in Newcastle, opening in 2018/19.

At a recent  Middlesbrough Council meeting Councillor Chris Hobson, Leader of the Conservative bloc in the Council, said: “I am as shocked as anybody else at the loss of the jobs, especially when this region needs the jobs more than ever.”

The news follows on from  the closure of the SSI site at Redcar.

She said she would write to Conservative ministers in Whitehall and “see what they could do about the job losses.”

The three sites set to close are the Russell Street and Eustace House offices in Middlesbrough and the office at George Stephenson House in Stockton.

The offices will be closed in phases over the three years between 2018 and 2021.

Russell House will close in 2018/19; Eustace House will close in 2019/20 and George Stephenson House will close 2020/21.

The Middlesbrough offices currently employ 244 while the Stockton office has 475 staff.

HMRC has said  staff will be offered the chance to relocate to Newcastle.

All of the HMRC’s offices across the North-East region will be closed by 2024/25 as the jobs are relocated to the new centre in Newcastle.

Further information can be found on the Middlesbrough Council website.

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Be Someone’s Santa this Christmas!

TEESSIDE media students are launching a campaign to help bring a touch of festive magic to disadvantaged children in the area.


Almost a third of children now live in poverty, while Middlesbrough was last month named in The Guardian newspaper as being the most deprived area in England.


For many families, Christmas is a luxury they just can’t afford, which has prompted Journalism students at Teesside University to join forces with regional radio station TFM and the Cash for Kids’ Mission Christmas campaign, to raise money, awareness and collect gifts for kids in the area who would otherwise go without.


The student group have set up dedicated Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Just Giving pages and plan to take to the streets to raise money and collect Christmas gifts for local children.


Campaign co-ordinator Jess Dixon said: “It is devastating to think that so many children are actually living below the poverty line.”


“And while Christmas is something that a lot of us take for granted, sadly the added financial pressure this brings is just too much for many families. 

Teesside University students left to right – Daniel Bullock, Abbie Walker, Jess Dixon and Sam Bradley with Courage the Cat the Cash for Kids mascot

Teesside University students left to right – Daniel Bullock, Abbie Walker, Jess Dixon and Sam Bradley with Courage the Cat the Cash for Kids mascot


“That’s why we’re getting involved in this campaign – to help make a difference to children in this area on Christmas Day.


“We are trying to raise money and also collect new and unwrapped gifts that are suitable for children, from newborn babies to 18 year-olds – we are particularly asking for gifts for young babies and teenagers as these groups tend to get the least gifts donated.


“By simply buying one extra present this year you could be ‘someone’s Santa’ and make their Christmas.”


Drop off points for gifts have been set up on the 5th floor of Teesside University’s Middlesbrough Tower and within Rede House in Middlesbrough Town Centre.


Kara Hatton, Cash for Kids spokesperson from TFM said: “It’s great that Teesside University is getting involved with the Mission Christmas campaign because it’s going to help so many extra people.”


“We really do expect quite a big increase in applications this year, so all the extra help is appreciated!”


For more information on the campaign you can follow what the group are doing by going to ;

Instagram – missionchristmas2015

And you can also make a donation through the group’s Just Giving page at

from Tside

Faroe Islands – an alternative choice for your next holiday?

WHEN you’re thinking about a summer holiday you probably think of Ibiza or Kavos.

The Faroe Islands is one of the most naturally beautiful countries in the world.

The Faroe Islands is one of the most naturally beautiful countries in the world.

But if you looked further afield you might find some hidden gems less than an hour away.

The Faroe Islands, just an hours flight from Edinburgh, is bursting with stunning scenery and was called “the next great Scandinavian destination” by the New York Times.

With a population of just over 48,000 and 19 islands to explore it could be the alternative holiday that you’ve been looking for.

With hikes, walks, drives and boat rides there are so many way to see these beautiful islands.

Your adventure will start by touching down in Vágar, which is just a short drive from the capital Tórshavn.

Come and see what the Faore Islands have to offer.

In Tórshavn you can see the modern harbour, local shops and the metropolitan city centre.

There are restaurants offering traditional Faroese cuisine including lamb and whale, as well as more familiar eateries like Burger King in the SMS Mall.

From the capital you can travel  to nearby destinations such as Saksun or Eysturoy.

In Eysturoy you can find perfect places for fishing, bird watching and hiking.

If fishing and bird watching isn’t your thing then Runavik isn’t too far away.

This is a modern town with similarly stunning views alongside sports facilities, shopping outlets and traditional restaurants.

For any couples thinking of going there are plenty of places to go and share intimate moments.

Gjogv is the perfect place for couples, maybe to ask an important question?

Gjogv is the perfect place for couples, maybe to ask an important question?

Gjogv in the north of the Islands is a beautiful cove through the day and the night.

There are lots of events in the Faroe Islands in 2016, from marathons to music festivals and art festivals to theatre performances.

If you’re thinking about going flights are only available through Atlantic Airways and fly from Edinburgh.

It only takes an hour on average and you can see the crystal clear water and breathtaking scenery as you’re coming in to land.

Hotels are available on TripAdvisor and are located in Tórshavn, Vágar or one of the smaller towns.



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New Year’s Eve in London – why not?

If you are looking for a destination to celebrate New Year’s Eve then why not think of London. The capital has plenty to offer.

tside reporter Cheng Gu has a guide to the best things to do:

  1. The Thames

Cheng’s rating ★★★★

Starting at London eye, you can walk alone the Thames and see many busker, pass the BFI Southbank Cinema, Tate modern Gallery and a good food market .


  1. Oxford Street

Cheng’s rating ★★★★

Oxford Street offers an unrivalled shopping experience thanks to its exciting mix of high-street fashion and international brands, accessories, childrenswear, technology and homewear.

Every Christmas, Oxford Street is decorated with festive lights. The tradition of Christmas lights began in 1959, five years after the neighbouring Regent Street.



  1. Regent Street

Cheng’s rating ★★★★

Situated in the heart of London’s West End, Regent Street is one of the capital’s most famous thoroughfares. Home to more than 75 international flagship stores such as Liberty, Apple, Banana Republic, Hamleys and Anthropologie; Regent Street is London’s ultimate shopping and lifestyle destination.


  1. King’s Cross Station

Cheng’s rating ★★★★

The interior of St Pancras has recently undergone a major refurbishment and looks every bit as grand as it did in its Victorian heyday. Although Harry Potter and his schoolmates board the Hogwarts Express at King’s Cross Station, the exterior used in the films was in fact the one that now looms over you, St Pancras Station.

St Pancras

  1. Theatre land

Cheng’s rating ★★★★★

The brightly lit signs of Theatre land are ablaze all year-round, bearing the names of celebrated actors, directors and playwrights. Take your pick from Victorian and Edwardian venues, including The Theatre Royal, The Haymarket Theatre, The Criterion, Noel Coward and The Adelphi. There are plays, musicals, operas and theatrical performances daily to suit every taste.


Top 10 musicals:

The Lion king

Kinky Boots

The Book of Mormon

Sunset Boulevard


The Commitments

The Phantom of the Opera

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Les Miserables

Mamma Mia


  1. British Museum

Cheng’s rating ★★★★★

The British Museum was founded in 1753, the first national public museum in the world.

British Museum

–>The King’s Library  

The King’s Library was a royal collection of books created by King George III and donated to the nation. A gallery, named after the collection, was built at the British Museum in 1827 to house them. It is the oldest room in the Museum and now home to the permanent exhibition Enlightenment: Discovering the world in the eighteenth century.


  1. New Year’s Eve Fireworks

Cheng’s rating ★★★★★

Come along and welcome in 2016 with a bang at London New Year’s Eve with Unicef. The Mayor of London’s fireworks display is London’s most spectacular New Year’s Eve event, and one of the greatest celebrations of its kind in the world. At midnight London’s night skies light up with a display of stunning pyrotechnics from the capital’s famous South Bank.

New Year’s Eve Fireworks


1. If you go from Middlesbrough, you can choose the King’s Cross as your destination. After arriving, you can buy Underground tickets in the station. There are all sorts of tickets for travel, but a one-day ticket within zones 1.2.3 is enough. Also you can buy  tickets for musicals in the box office in the station.

2.You had better reserve a room in advance, at least two months before.

As to the location, a  hotel close to King’s Cross Tube Station is a good choice or in the centre of  London.

3.New Year’s Eve fireworks. Tickets are £10 and you can book for up to four people. Different viewing area tickets are available- blue area, green area, white area, red area . Blue is the  best location to enjoy the fireworks.

from Tside

Lionesses provide foundation for future success on Teesside

THE summer of success for England women has inspired a redevelopment plan for football on campus here at Teesside University.

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Amy Preston

Amy Preston, 21, chair and captain of Teesside University women’s football club took some time to explain the influence the Lionesses have had on national and local sport.

“The World Cup has made a big impact across the country, not as much in the North East as it probably should have, but a lot more people are taking part in sport. Especially on the University campus, they’ve got a lot more teams now,” She said.

“I think that’s affected the League’s we play in; there’s a lot more people involved, with more money being put into sport – which is good.”

Amy believes  the recent  World Cup has had  a positive effect.

“It has been an extra incentive for people to come and join. The numbers have increased, we have got better numbers than last year, for sure,” she said.

“It’s not just football though, futsal as well – a lot more girls are taking part. People are more interested, people who might not have played for 10 – 15 years are coming along to training.” She added.

Not only has the England side’s third place finish had an immediate impact, it has also laid the ground work for the future of football at the University.

“We’re currently planning with men’s football, futsal and seven-a-side to build up a three year development plan for the football structure at the University. Just to improve as a whole and get the University more involved, which we’re starting to do now,” Amy said.

“I think that the structure we have at the moment is good – that we’re starting off. Hopefully by the next World Cup we’ll have it even better.

“I definitely believe that if this year goes well, this will be a step in the right direction for women’s football at the University.”

Amy also has high hopes for the season ahead, after two wins from the opening three games.

“We’ve got a really good standard this year, some good players coming through,” She said.

“We’re aiming for top three, pushing for promotion if possible.”

from Tside

Teesside’s oldest music venue sees new major development

The Georgian Theatre

One of Teesside’s oldest music venues is to get a much-needed facelift.

Tees Music Alliance is set to begin work on radically expanding and improving  The Georgian Theatre in Stockton.
The 250- year- old building originally opened as a venue for actors on the northern circuit during the 18th Century.

It currently stands as one of Teesside’s most popular music attractions, often selling out shows to a whole host of established artists  and up-and-coming musicians from all over the world.

The main reason for this development is due to the venue’s small capacity which is currently at a maximum of 200.

Tees Music Alliance Director, Paul Burns, said: “Although not very rock and roll, having the correct amount of toilets is one of the factors determining the capacity of a music venue; and ours are currently limiting the number of people we can admit to events.

“In turn, this means that some of the artists we’d like to bring to Stockton are just beyond our reach because of the current venue capacity – which we hope to increase to around 300 people.

“It is really exciting news for the area, but we are still awaiting confirmation on planning permission”


Stockton Borough Council Leader, Councillor Bob Cook, said: “The Georgian Theatre is a popular venue which plays an important part in Stockton’s music and culture scene. ”


from Tside

Newton Faulkner’s Middlebrough Town Hall Performance

Middlesbrough Town Hall hosted  Newton Faulkner for one night only, and what a night it was.

Newton effortlessly mixed reinvigorating set list stables such as ‘Dream Catch Me’, and ‘I Need Something’, with new material from his fifth studio album ‘Human Love’ such as ‘Get Free’ (in which the accompanying music video features him shedding his trademark dreadlocks off to represent the new exciting musical direction of the album) and Far to Fall’.

With an eclectic mix of his creations, Newton mixed it up with both acoustic guitar and electric and spoke about how his new album, which was released November 20will also have an element of both.


The  crowd cheered when classics such as ‘Brick by Brick’  was performed as well as enjoying the new material which was played to us throughout the performance.

Newton was constantly engaging with his audience charming us all adding a very intimate element to the gig.

His personality and passion shone throughout, and it was so clear that he loves what he does.

This was a gig that all music lovers could appreciate with his hauntingly beautiful vocals and amazing guitar playing, who knew you can make a guitar ping and pop, and play it like a piano!

Joined on stage with two other band members, they would switch from playing guitar and drums, to backing vocals, synths as and when the songs required, keeping a fresh feel with different sounds to the set from a Folk feel, to venturing out of the box with electric guitars.

His undeniable talent made for an amazing evening and is definitely an unforgettable act and must see for all music lovers!

from Tside

Ariana Grande – The new face of MAC’s Viva Glam for 2016

ARIANA Grande has been announced as the new ambassador for Viva Glam’s new collection in 2016.

Ariana striking a pose for her campaign photo

Ariana striking a pose for her campaign photo

After Miley Cyrus’ previous campaign with Mac Cosmetics, Ariana has stolen the role of the new spokesperson for the collection and will take over in January.

The 22- year- old’s recent release for her fragrance ‘Ari’ shows that she has good potential in creating something  feminine for her fans and so partnering up with MAC will definitely be a good fit.

Preview of the lip collection for Viva Glam: Image by Mac Cosmetics

Preview of the lip collection for Viva Glam: Image by MAC Cosmetics

Ariana didn’t hold back from the news and took to Twitter to share her excitement with her fans.

“#VIVAGLAM @maccosmetics I am beyond honoured and excited to be working with a brand that stands for and always has stood for EQUALITY. my lipstick & gloss will be available in January and EVERY PENNY goes to people effected by HIV & AIDS,” she shared on Instagram.

“I have loved & supported @maccosmetics ever since I was a little girl walking through the mall and saw your first #VIVAGLAM girl in the window @rupaulofficial. I’m so honoured!!!”

The collection is said to represent ‘the good and the bad’ in you, by embracing the idea that a woman can be both if she wants to be.

Whilst the previous collection with Miley concentrated on bright and neon colours, Ariana has surprised us this time by basing the colours around dark purples to represent the ‘bad’ and baby pinks and glitter to represent the ‘good’.

Viva Glam's previous collection with Miley Cyrus: Image by MAC Cosmetics

Viva Glam’s previous collection with Miley Cyrus: Image by MAC Cosmetics

The Viva Glam collection by MAC focuses on teaming up with celebrities who are currently big in the public’s eye in order to create a fabulous selection of cosmetics.

Their previous collaborations includes working with the likes of Lady Gaga, Fergie and Rihanna.

Money raised by MAC from this collection will go to helping women, men and children affected by HIV/aids.

The MAC Aids Fund was first launched in 1994 in which they signed drag queen, Ru Paul as their first ever celebrity representative.

The organisation has raised over $380 million since then and is only aiming to raise even more through their collaboration with Ariana next year.



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