TV and radio personality Craig Charles helped Morecambe to truly sparkle as the town kicked off the festive season in style.
The star switched on the Christmas lights at the Festival Market then brought the house down with a soul and funk-packed DJ set at the Winter Gardens on Sunday.
The popular actor, comedian and radio presenter received a rapturous reception from an excited crowd on Sunday teatime as he appeared on the Beyond Radio main stage in the market car park.
Craig said: “It’s great to be in Morecambe! I’ve only ever been here in the summer before.
“We used to come quite a lot, on day trips when I was a lad.”
He also revealed that he was about to film a new series of Red Dwarf for 2020.
“We started off in 1988 and people seem to still love it so we’re still doing it…I never thought I’d still be doing it 32 years later,” said the star, who plays Dave Lister in the hit sci-fi comedy and also starred in Coronation Street as taxi driver Lloyd Mullaney.
Craig conducted the large crowd in a countdown to the switch-on.
Then as lights illuminated the area, a spectacular laser and fireworks show kicked in.
After posing for pictures and signing autographs, Craig moved on to the Winter Gardens to DJ at the Soul Train Christmas Party on Sunday evening.
Charles, who hosts his own BBC radio soul and funk programmes, brought energy to the stage in his own inimitable style.
His set had a sold-out crowd going wild as they danced to classic tunes in a real party atmosphere inside the historic Morecambe theatre.
Support came from local DJ legend Steve Middlesbrough and Jo Manji.
Sunday’s events were part of an entire weekend of ‘Morecambe Sparkle’ festivities organised and funded by Morecambe Business Improvement District (BID), sponsored by Jump Rush and produced in partnership with Beyond Radio and Morecambe Music Festival.
The weekend’s entertainment began on Friday night with live music in 12 town centre venues, organised by Morecambe Music Festival.
Then on Saturday night, The Platform hosted An Evening with Eden where guest speakers spoke about plans for the Eden Project North coming to Morecambe.
The expert panel who spoke to and took questions from a sold-out audience included Si Bellamy OBE, head of Eden Project International, local executive GP Dr Andy Knox, tourism lecturer Dr David Jarrett, Professor Dame Sue Black from Lancaster University, Professor Vanessa Toulmin from the Winter Gardens, and Wes Johnson, principal of Lancaster and Morecambe College. The event was hosted by Beyond Radio’s Greg Lambert.
A total of £3000 raised from the event was divided between Galloway’s Society for the Blind, Morecambe Bay Foodbank and the Winter Gardens Preservation Trust.
Special Morecambe BID calendars featuring the BID’s seagull mascot Gully were sold on the night.