Thousands see top soap stars light up the skies

SCREAMING teenagers greeted Coronation Street stars who switched on Durham’s Christmas lights yesterday.

SCREAMING teenagers greeted Coronation Street stars who switched on Durham’s Christmas lights yesterday.

Jack P Shepherd, 19, who plays devil child David Platt in the ITV soap, performed the ceremony with co-stars Tina O’Brien, who plays his sister Sarah, and her on-screen partner, Jason Grimshaw, played by Ryan Thomas.

An estimated 4,000 packed the city’s Market Place for the switch-on, after which the actors walked off stage to speak to some of their admirers.

An ecstatic Kelly Johnson, 15, from Brandon, Durham, said: “I shook Jason Grimshaw’s hand. How cool is that!”

Ed Tutty, from Durham City Council, described the switch-on as a huge success.

He added: “They are three lovely people.

“When I spoke to them beforehand, they were amazed how many people had turned up to see them.

“They expected a few hundred but 4,000 was marvellous.

“It is an excellent day for the city’s shops, having so many people about.”

The switch-on was preceded by entertainment includ- ing an appearance by the stars of the panto at Durham’s Gala Theatre and Irish band The Wildcats of Kilkenny.

Durham is building a reputation for attracting top soap stars.

Last year two Coronation Street villains Tracy Barlow and Charlie Stubbs, played by Kate Ford and Bill Ward, switched on the city’s Christmas lights.

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