TV comedy legend Ricky Tomlinson has praised the people of Hartlepool for the warm welcome he received when he entertained at a town social club.
Ricky was greeted with a full house for the Evening With night at Belle Vue Social Club on Thursday night.
It was great to see the Belle Vue Club packed to the rafters and to be made to feel so special by them allRicky Tomlinson
The Royle Family star was brought to the town by Hartlepool-born BBC Tees presenter Paul ‘Goffy’ Gough.
For over 90 minutes the popular actor recalled his fascinating life and career which has seen him become a nation’s favourite on TV and via the big screen.
He happily posed for pictures with fans and signed countless autographs.
The Mike Bassett film star said: “I have had a fabulous night in Hartlepool and I just want to thank the people for taking the time to come along and give me such a warm welcome.
“It was great to see the Belle Vue Club packed to the rafters and to be made to feel so special by them all.
“Goffy, has hosted many of these nights with me and he told me that the people from his hometown would be a bit special – and he wasn’t wrong.”
Ricky told the crowd how he survived a long spell on the dole and a spell in prison before finding fame in Brookside, Mike Bassett England Manager and the The Royle Family.
He added: “People have been tremendously loyal to me across the decades, I’m 77 now and it still gives me a great feeling to sign autographs, or to be asked by lovely fans to pose for a photograph with them.
“It’s a wonderful that they bring along old pictures and DVDs to sign and then tell me the various characters mean to them personally.
“Those characters remind people of certain periods of their lives and situations they have faced along the journey.”
Ricky said he was also pleased to support a grass roots club adding: “Social clubs have taken a huge knock in recent years and therefore it was terrific to see the Belle Vue Club bouncing.”
The night also featured one of Ricky’s favourite acts in Bobby Thompson tribute entertainer Tony Washington,
Paul ‘Goffy’ Gough who hosted and promoted the event was delighted with the night.
He said: “It was a top night for the town, and I’m really pleased that I was able to bring Ricky with all of his vast heritage here to town.”