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Darlington MasterChef Contestant Nikolas Through to Quarter Finals



MasterChef UK North East Contestant

A MasterChef contestant from Darlington makes it through to the quarter finals of the show.

Born in Venezuela, 31-year-old Nikolas is a delivery driver and lives in Darlington with his partner and five-year-old daughter.

Growing up in Camden in London, him and his family now live in the North East town.

On this weeks episode, (Tuesday 11th of April), he made a bouillabaisse of turbot, red mullet, and langoustine, served with croutons and a garlic and saffron rouille, in an homage to Keith Floyd.

John Torode said: “The langoustine tails are cooked beautifully, your turbot is just cooked, your red mullet I really like, it’s lovely and strong, but your rouille hasn’t worked.

“You’ve got the raw garlic; you’ve got the saffron which is nice, but you don’t have that lovely thick sauce. I’m sad it’s not there because the flavour is really good.”  

Gregg Wallace said: “I can taste the fish; I can taste the aniseed of the booze you’ve used. The only issue I have is that your rouille isn’t thick like mayonnaise. Apart from that I am really enjoying your dish.”

When describing his own style of cooking, Nikolas said: “I love championing Latin flavours from all over South America. Sharing the dishes from my heritage with others especially my daughter is special.

“I love the punchiness of Venezuelan food, but I also have an adoration of French classics and techniques. In many ways my food is a mixture of all of these things.”

Him being on the show however is bittersweet for him as prior to him going on, he tragically lost his best friend as he passed away suddenly in an accident.

This then led to Nikolas becoming very close to his friends brother Darren who is a massive MasterChef fan.

He said: “He’d always known about my passion for cooking and thought I had the skills from seeing all the pictures I post of my food on social media, so he sent me the link to apply. The rest as they say, ‘is history.’

 “My ultimate food dream would be to have my own restaurant and run it with my partner and daughter. I would love to showcase Venezuelan cuisine and Latin cuisine in a fine dining setting.”


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In Between Days festival cancelled just days before its debut in Newcastle’s Times Square



A new music festival set to make its debut in Newcastle this weekend has been cancelled two days before its debut.

In shock news this Wednesday, the festival In Between Days, which had been due to play out in Times Square over three days from this Friday to Sunday, announced it has been called off, without giving any explanation of the reason.

The event had been set to star Happy Mondays and Ian Brown and local favourites Andrew Cushin and Liam Fender were also on the bill.

The festival set to take place on May 26-28 had just been announced in March, with organisers Tokyo Live promising many more acts to be announced. But now music lovers are left shocked and disappointed by a statement posted by organisers on the festival website which said: “We gave it our best shot. We are so very sorry to have to deliver the news that the In Between Days Festival will not be going ahead.

“It breaks our heart to make this announcement; no company sets out with an intention to cancel, postpone or reschedule an event (and when we have to cancel like this, we have to write off the significant amount of money we’ve spent so far).”

It added: “We were so excited to play host to some of the biggest names and the best talent in the world, but sadly it’s not to be this time. To everyone who has supported us, we are so very grateful but obviously very disappointed that we have not been able to make this a reality for you.

“We would like to offer our thanks to all the artists, partner agencies, suppliers and of course, our ticket holders for supporting us – we are so sorry to have disappointed you all. Ticket holders will receive an automatic refund (to include fees). Thank you for your understanding.”

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Beyoncé Expected set list as Renaissance tour heads to Sunderland



Beyoncé is set to wow Wearside tomorrow (May 23) for her Renaissance world tour.

More than 48,000 fans are set to descend on the city for the date at the Stadium of Light, one of only four UK venues chosen for the mammoth tour.

Here’s the setlist in full from previous nights, which features a huge 36 tracks across three hours, from new hits to old favourites:

– Dangerously in Love

– Flaws and All

– 1+1

– I’m Going Down

– I Care




– Lift Off




– Formation

– Diva

– Run the World (Girls)



– Savage (Remix)

– Partition


– Get Me Bodied

– Before I Let Go

– Rather Die Young

– Love on Top

– Crazy in Love



– Naughty Girl





– Drunk in Love





Are you heading to see Beyoncé? – let us know on our social media and follow us for latest North East Updates –

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Disney On Ice announces return to Newcastle Arena – here’s how to get tickets



Mickey and a host of favourite characters will skate into Utilita Arena Newcastle from Wednesday, December 6 to Sunday, December 10 2023 celebrating the magic of Disney’s 100th Anniversary with Disney On Ice presents 100 Years of Wonder.

The hugely popular Encanto features in the ice show for the very first time in the UK, when Mickey Mouse is joined by his friends on a journey to discover his favourite memory of all time.

Families will be part of the action and help the gang venture through Disney stories, sharing memorable moments from treasured tales.

Journey to a vibrant town in the mountains of Colombia to meet Mirabel and her family who live in a magical casita in a wondrous, charmed place called an Encanto.

Sail away with Moana as she displays courage to save her island on a high-seas adventure with the demigod, Maui.

Caroline Ginnane, General Manager of the Utilita Arena Newcastle, added: “We are always delighted to host Disney On Ice here at the arena, and this year’s show is a particularly special celebration heralding Disney’s 100th Anniversary.

“Seeing Encanto for the first time on ice will be a real treat, as well as much loved audience favourites including Moana, Frozen and Toy Story.

“It’s always heart-warming to see families making special memories, singing and dancing along with favourite Disney stars in an enchanting ice spectacular which has become an exciting pre-Christmas treat here at Utilita Arena Newcastle.”

The production will skate into Utilita Arena Newcastle from December 6-10, 2023.

Priority Customers can take advantage of the pre-sale from Friday May 19, 2023 by signing up at

Tickets then go on general sale from Friday May 26, 2023 at

Who would you love to take? – let us know on our social media and follow us for latest North East Updates –

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