'The greatest place on the planet' - Bradley Walsh praises Cromer at carnival crowning
PUBLISHED: 10:08 19 August 2019 | UPDATED: 16:58 19 August 2019
He's famous for his roles in The Chase and Doctor Who, but Bradley Walsh still has fond memories of the town that kickstarted his career.
And now, decades after the 59-year-old starred in the Cromer Pier Show, he returned to crown the Cromer Carnival queen for the event's 50th anniversary.
The popular presenter played up to a crowd of at least 1,000 gathered in front of the pier on Sunday, temporarily borrowing the civic chain of office and declaring himself mayor of the town.
Mr Walsh, who took part in Cromer carnivals from 1986-88, called it the "greatest place on the planet" and recalled how he'd stumble home from post-end-of-show drinks as the crab boats went out - or even later, as they came in.
He said: "They say seven days in Cromer makes one weak.
"I'm proud and privileged to be part of its history. The last Cromer Carnival I did was 31 years ago but I still have a lot of friends here and I love this area."
Mr Walsh crowned this year's Miss Cromer, Jessica Foster, before meeting some of the many festival-goers.
Also present were 24 past Miss Cromers, gathered especially for the anniversary, including Angela Burton, nee Wilde, the earliest carnival queen there from 1971.
MORE: Everything you need to know about Cromer Carnival 2019
Mrs Burton, 67, said: "It was a great honour to be Miss Cromer all those years ago. It's wonderful to be involved in so many functions and I've never had so many dresses to wear."
Jason Bell, who has been town crier for the past 35 years but is retiring next week, introduced the 'royal family' and mayor Richard Leeds thanked the event's many volunteers for their help.
Carnival committee chairman Tony Shipp made an appeal for new blood to help keep the popular event alive, saying: "Anniversaries are not just about looking backwards, but looking forwards, and we're always looking for new people to come and take the carnival forward."
The week-long programme culminates in 'carnival day' Wednesday, featuring a jousting tournament, aerobatic display, street parade and much more.
A fancy dress dance will take place on Friday evening.