Minister's rivers blunder echoes Wearside gaffes by singers David Bowie and Roger Whittaker

David Bowie during his 1987 concert in Newcastle, sorry, Sunderland.
David Bowie during his 1987 concert in Newcastle, sorry, Sunderland.
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Northern Powerhouse Minister Jake Berry's geographical gaffe is not the first time Wearside has been confused for its Tyneside neighbour up the road.

Our readers were quick to draw comparisons between Mr Berry's blunder - in which he thought the new Wear Crossing was getting built across the Tyne - and errors by singers David

Northern Powerhouse minister Jake Berry during his visit to the new Wear Crossing bridge.

Northern Powerhouse minister Jake Berry during his visit to the new Wear Crossing bridge.

Bowie and Roger Whittaker.

Bowie, while appearing at Sunderland Football Club's former Roker Park home in 1987, greeted the audience during his show with the words "good evening, Newcastle".

Further back in time, Whittaker's lyrics in his hit Durham Town wrongly claimed that the cathedral town was on the banks of the River Tyne rather than the Wear.

The singer later claimed that he deliberately used the word "Tyne" because it suited the song's rhyme better than "Wear".

Writing on our Facebook page, Alexander Oliver said of Mr Berry: "Bet he loves Bowie."

Martin Goldsack added: "Maybe he took geography lessons from Roger Whittaker."

Valerie Metcalf said: "That's what happens when you send the brain dead north of Watford. I remember David Bowie referring to being at Newcastle when playing a gig at Roker Park.

All a stupid joke really."

Michael Butler added: "What an absolute embarrassment. How disrespectful to the people of Sunderland."

George Rowell commented: "Can't even get the river right and he's an MP."

Margaret Armstrong added: "Well that just says it all . The Government haven't got a clue when it comes to anything to do with the North East."

Jean Wright wrote: "No surprise there. I wonder if he thinks he lives in a different country to England."

Neil M Robinson speculated: "Probably the first time he's been north of Watford."

David Hudson added: "Just typical and not surprising."

Eileen Dixon simply said: "Plank".

Sharon Hodgson, the MP for Washington and Sunderland West, said: "It's a shame the Northern Powerhouse Minister couldn't get his rivers right, even when standing on a bridge with the

name Wear in it.

"Let's hope once he is back in Whitehall that he swats up on his North East geography to avoid another embarrassing slip up like this. I'd happily provide him with a map if he needs one."

Watch: David Bowie confuse Sunderland for Newcastle as he performs at Roker Park

Watch: Minister's embarrassing Sunderland bridge blunder