1989: Ghostly tale

Many a comedian has "died a death" on stage at the Sunderland Empire – but only one has actually died there.

Sid James laughed his last dirty laugh on April 26, 1976.

He was appearing in a suitably smutty comedy, The Mating Game, at the time.

But, according to legend, the comedian never left the theatre and there have been several reports of strange goings-on in his old dressing room.

Indeed, it is claimed that Les Dawson spotted Sid's ghost during a panto visit in December 1989 – and refused to ever return to the Empire.