Heard the one about the business journalist, the Scrapheap legend and the tech star at the racecourse?

Northumbrian Water is announcing a trio of headline acts for its 2019 Innovation Festival.

Joining thousands of innovative thinkers at the event will be:

  • BBC Journalist and presenter, and North East legend, Steph McGovern.

  • Star of Channel 4's Escape to the Chateau and former Scrapheap Challenge presenter Dick Strawbridge.

  • And tech Journalist and Gadget Show presenter Georgie Barrat.

The celebs will be giving stand-up talks to the gathered guests at Newcastle Racecourse every day between the 8th and 12th of July.

They will be touring the festival sprint tents, meeting the teams and providing inspiration to help the problem solvers and innovators along.

Northumbrian Water's Director of Information Services, Nigel Watson said: "To have three real inspirational innovators like Steph, Dick and Georgie with us for the week will be a huge boost for the whole festival.

"They'll be getting into the sprint tents, speaking with the attendees and really getting under the skin of the issues alongside them. They're all experts in their fields and we can't wait to have them with us."

Festival goers will be spending five days unpicking and tackling major issues and problems and coming up with solutions and big ideas around topics like flooding, digital twin modelling, the emergence of 5G technology and underground mapping.

Steph McGovern said: "I'm over the moon to be coming back to the Innovation Festival again this year. It was brilliant last time seeing all of the creative ideas that the teams were coming up with and the passion that everyone showed. The North East is a real hotbed of ideas and talent and it's great to see it in action at the festival."

Georgie Barrat added: "I'm very excited about the chance to be involved with the Innovation Festival this year. It'll be great to get around the festival site, soak up the atmosphere and meet all of the sprint teams to find out what they've been designing and creating during the week."

Dick said: "I'm really looking forward to being part of the Northumbrian Water Innovation Festival this year and getting the chance to see some of the innovative projects on show. I'm especially excited to get into the sprint tents and be hands-on with everything that's being designed and made. I can't wait!"

Northumbrian Water's aim is to produce a year's worth of work in a week - by gathering a diverse and innovative group of people, creating the right environment and then letting them put their collective brains to work in a festival environment.

To follow the Innovation Festival visit www.InnovationFestival.org or Northumbrian Water on Facebook and Twitter.