Hundreds of people from the North East business community have come together for one of the most prestigious awards nights of the year.
The Journal and Gazette Business Executive of the Year 2014 recognises business leaders from Northumberland and Tyneside, Teesside and County Durham and Wearside. One overall champion is selected from those winners, while prizes will also go to young executive of the year and non-executive of the year.
Good evening and welcome to the The Journal and Gazette Business Executive of the Year 2014 awards, which recognise business leaders from Northumberland and Tyneside, Teesside and County Durham and Wearside.
We'll be bringing you all the latest news from the awards ceremony at the Newcastle Marriott Hotel at Gosforth Park.
Jeff Brown, from BBC North East & Cumbria is hosting tonight's event.
He is a familiar face to the region’s television viewers, having been on our screens since 1996 after a 14-year career in newspapers. He began his working life as a trainee journalist with the Birmingham Post & Mail, moving on to their sports desk in 1985. A year later he returned to the North East when he joined The Journal’s sports team.
After 10 years with the Trinity Mirror Group in Newcastle he made the move into television, joining Tyne Tees TV. Jeff moved to the BBC in 2003, to present the sports news on “LookNorth.”
This is the fourth year he has kindly hosted the North East Business Executive of the Year Awards.
Brian Aitken Editor, The Journal & Business Director, Trinity Mirror North East is introducing the awards. It is the 31st year of the NorthEast Business Executive of the Year Awards.
My colleague Richard Fletcher has just sent me a photo of the table plan - just so we can be nosey and see who is sitting with who
The roll of honour of past winners now being played for the audience and apparently it's an impressive list. Good luck to everyone this evening.
Next up is guest speaker Gyles Brandreth who is a writer, broadcaster, former MP and Government Whip.
Currently a reporter on The One Show on BBC1 and a regular on Radio 4’s Just a Minute, his acclaimed Victorian detective stories - The Oscar Wilde Murder Mysteries - are now being published in twenty-one countries around the world.
On speaking at the awards this evening, Gyles said: “I know the North-East well. In many ways it’s the fulcrum of the real economy – where things are made as well as where things happen. My first job as a TV journalist was in Newcastle; my sister-in-law lives in Newcastle; my happiest time inthe theatre was at the Newcastle Theatre Royal; so I grab any chance to come back.”
Here is a photo of host Jeff Brown with Brendan Foster looking very dapper in their tuxedos
My colleague Chris Scott has tweeted to sat Gyles Brandreth's speech is hilarious and Gareth Johnson, Head of Managed Investment Services at Brewin Dolphin agrees
Now the North East Business Executive of the Year Awards would not be the same without my colleague Richard Fletcher's food critique. It seems the starter of Gin cured Salmon has gone down well.
Deelish. Salmon, cut thick, fresh. A circle of oil corrals the main ingredients. Is that a soupcon of basil? I can't be sure. #neboy— Richard Fletcher (@FletchJourno) November 13, 2014
Gyles Brandreth is definitely entertaining the audience according to Digital Innovations reporter Richard Fletcher
However, Business Editor Graeme Whitfield has just tweeted: "Gyles, mate, you've got a microphone #NEBOY ."
Here is another photo from earlier this evening at the drinks reception of John Duns from sponsor Brewin Dolphin, guest speaker Gyles Brandreth and Brian Aitken, editor of the Journal