North East Bylines had the pleasure of attending the premiere of series three of BBC’s ‘Angels of the North’ in Newcastle last night. This programme follows the lives of the staff at Sammy-Jo Pearson’s salon ‘Longlox’ in Gateshead. The series has now branched out to also follow staff at Pure Ink, a Newcastle tattoo parlour and a boxing club in Jarrow – Bilton Hall.
The cast arrived on the red carpet dressed to the nines as you can see from the photos. I last interviewed Sammy Jo and her mother (and ‘mamager’) Bev in the summer. Whilst complimenting them on their dresses, Bev joked “thank you and certainly a bit of a difference from last time when I was in my work uniform!”
Some lucky fans of the show also had the chance to attend the premiere and got the chance to chat to the cast. Their excitement was palpable with a real buzz in the air and many a selfie being taken! There was also an exclusive drinks party upstairs for the celebrities to enjoy before the screening.
When everybody took their seat, I was lucky enough to be seated on the front row with the main cast and right next to Sammy Jo’s grandmother, Eileen. Joining them was Sammy Jo’s brother who talked about how he had decided to not appear in the show himself due to “pursuing a career as a DJ” but was there giving them his complete support. Eileen, on the other hand, does of course appear in the show herself and helps to give the show wider appeal.
Whilst chatting with her on the front row, Eileen is obviously extremely proud of her family and rightly so after all of their achievements. She talked about how they are “an extremely close family” and this was very evident during the premiere. The show has a lot of humour interweaved into it and the cast laughed along with the rest of the audience members at such points.
After the screening of the first two episodes of the third series, we were treated to a panel discussion led by Geordie comic Lauren Pattison. This included Sammy Jo, Shane Guttridge (Pure Ink) and Ewan Mackenzie (Bilton Hall). I was also fascinated to learn that one of the producers, Duncan Gray, had actually moved up to the North East permanently from the South after working on the show, such had been his great impression of the area.
After chatting to some of the fans before the screening, it appears that I wasn’t alone in becoming hooked on this programme during lockdown and its success has gone from strength to strength. We were invited to write questions via their Twitter wall and I was delighted that mine was chosen which was in keeping with the above theme:
“Do you think the show brought comfort to people during lockdown?”
The answer was a resounding YES from the whole panel. I shared with Eileen that I had picked this question as it reflected how I felt myself and that the programme was a great way to forget about all the depressing things that were happening during the Covid-19 pandemic.
I would, therefore, highly recommend viewing of the new series which is airing on 31 October!