TELEVISION'S Jeremy Kyle has been announced as a patron of leading North-East children’s charity, The Graham Wylie Foundation.

The foundation, set up in 2015 by owner of Heddon-on-the-Wall's Close House, Graham Wylie, supports vulnerable and underprivileged children in the North-East.

Jeremy Kyle – who has been a long-time supporter of the charity - joins golfer Lee Westwood and AC/DC frontman Brian Johnson in the role, in which he will help raise funds and the profile of the Foundation.

On a private visit to the charity’s Newcastle base, he said: “The work the foundation does to help North-East children is phenomenal and humbling and it is an absolute honour to become a patron.”

Mr Wylie personally meets all of the charity's running costs with every penny raised going directly to where it is most needed.

“That is one of the reasons I became involved with the Foundation in the first place,” said Jeremy. “This is a cause very close to my heart and I think it is fantastic that Graham enables the money to go straight to the kids who need it.”

The star, whose The Jeremy Kyle Show has been an ITV mainstay for almost 14 years also revealed that this his first such charitable role, “and that is deliberate,” he said.“I get approached quite frequently but having seen at close quarters the work this charity does and the effect it has on the lives of children in the region, I am delighted to help in whatever way I can.”

The Graham Wylie Foundation supports groups, organisations and other charities from across the region by funding projects which will benefit underprivileged or vulnerable youngsters for years to come.

It also built the first dedicated Nordoff Robbins music therapy centre outside London, at the Matron’s Lodge of the former Fleming Hospital, at Jesmond, which was officially opened by Sting in March last year and is now delivering life transforming music therapy.

“We are very proud to have Jeremy,” said Graham Wylie. “He is a good friend and a great supporter of the charity.

“He has helped us raise a lot of money over the years through his involvement with our charity golf days and as a guest speaker at our annual fundraising ball and I hope that his new role will raise the foundation’s profile and enable us to raise even more money.”