Stephen suits so good to Wear

suits you: Stephen Tompkinson in one of Joe Hind's suits.
suits you: Stephen Tompkinson in one of Joe Hind's suits.
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A BESPOKE suit made by a Sunderland tailor has been cutting a dash with one of the nation’s top TV stars.

Joe Hind, whose highly sought-after suits are made from his base in Frederick Street, was chosen to create a striking gangster suit for Wild at Heart star Stephen Tompkinson who is in the region starring in Faith & Cold Reading.

The Teesside-born actor, who is also known for his roles in Ballykissangel and Drop the Dead Donkey, is receiving rave reviews for his role as menacing gangster Freddie the Suit in the play at Newcastle’s Live Theatre.

The character, which was created by North Shields-born writer Shaun Prendergast, was inspired after Shaun was warned by a drunken, newly-redundant bond trader in a bar in London that “the City will watch you die and sell your corpse for spares. No gangster is as ruthless as the man in the suit”.

As such, the character’s suit plays a pivotal role in the play.

Tailor Joe, who has been in business for more than 40 years, was chosen because of his reputation for creating fine menswear.

Joe said: “I was thrilled to be asked to make a bespoke suit for Stephen Tompkinson. The style of the suit has remnants from the 1800s, based loosely on an old cowboy frock coat jacket with a modern twist.”

Joe added how excited his wife was to hear about her husband’s celebrity encounter. He said: “She is the big fan and loves everything that he has been in.”

Joe’s suits can cost anywhere between £500 and £2,000 and are a big hit with mods and skinheads.

He said: “Around 15 years ago, I had my first encounter with the mod community.

“I was asked to make a ‘very sharp suit’ for a gentleman and he was so pleased with the result he asked me if I would mind being featured on his website Mod Culture.

“From this encounter I then received lots of inquiries and began making suits for people from Scotland down to Yorkshire.”

Faith & Cold Reading isn’t Joe’s first encounter with the Live Theatre. He was first introduced to the company several years ago when he was asked to make a suit for The Pitmen Painters.

This suit has since been on Broadway.

l Tickets for Faith & Cold Reading cost from £10 to £18. For more information call 232 1232 or visit www.live.org.uk