Geordies are renowned for strolling blithely about in the snow with their shirts off, but some more sensitive souls from Tyneside's theatre scene this week handed Holland & Barrett a Christmas PR coup.

Meat-shy stars of The Wind In The Willows at the city's Northern Stage refused to share stage-space with some pork pies for a picnic scene. So H&B whizzed over 120 'porkless pies', apparently almost indistinguishable from the real thing if you're sat far enough back in the theatre.