A WINE expert is returning to his roots when he takes to the stage to share his passion for the grape.

Olly Smith will be regaling members of the North East England Chamber of Commerce of his experiences in the wine industry when is the guest speaker at the group's Tees Valley Annual Dinner on Thursday.

The cookery-show favourite, who was born in Darlington but spent his early years in Witton-le-Wear, near Bishop Auckland, has countless stories to share about learning his trade in a wine shop, being crowned winner in Pop Idol and getting his big television break alongside renowned chef Brian Turner.

The annual dinner takes place at Middlesbrough's Jury's Inn.