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Lemar to headline at summer festival

PUBLISHED: 15:40 20 May 2009 | UPDATED: 10:42 23 August 2010

Lemar

Lemar

AN ITV children s presenter is overjoyed to be fronting Kent s premier free festival alongside BRIT and MOBO award winner Lemar. Chris Till, who played Prince Charming in Snow White at Woodville Halls theatre in Gravesend over Christmas, will present t

AN ITV children's presenter is "overjoyed" to be fronting Kent's premier free festival alongside BRIT and MOBO award winner Lemar.

Chris Till, who played Prince Charming in Snow White at Woodville Halls theatre in Gravesend over Christmas, will present the Dartford Festival on July 18 and 19.

The former St George's School pupil, who lives in Gravesend, said the two-day Dartford Festival cannot be beaten for its mixture of top acts and the best in local talent.

After signing Jason Donovan in 2008, this summer organisers have gone for double award-winner Lemar to headline the festival.

CITV presenter Chris Till said: "I think it's a real coup to get a performer of Lemar's class to north Kent, I'm really excited about it.

"He is one of those singers that appeals to younger and older people, which fits in with the atmosphere of the whole weekend.

"The festival attracts so many visitors, you have to give it 10-out-of-10 for entertainment, quality and breadth of events."

Mr Till has performed in West End shows Mamma Mia, Joseph and Grease, and said it was the high quality of local talent that has made the festival unique.

"It's not just about the big names but our home grown talent.

"Len Goodman's school of dancing in Dartford is an obvious example, but there is real strength in depth across the whole of north Kent in performing arts.

"I can't believe after all this time I'm finally going to meet Len on stage!"

Mr Goodman, head judge on BBC's Strictly Come Dancing, will present a show by his dancers on Saturday, July 18 in the tented arena area - new for 2009.

Chart-toppers S Club 7 will make their first reunion at the festival as S Club Party.

Some of the country's best tribute acts include Duffy, Michael Jackson, Abba, Sugar Babes, Girls Aloud and Take That.

For families, the Petwise Zoo comes to Central Park where children have a chance to stroke the animals.

Skatejam, archery, gyrobounce, judo training and even scuba diving (at Fairfield Pool) make up some of the sportier attractions.

The British Army will have an assault course for hardier kids and the Royal Navy are bringing along their own GR7 Harrier jumpjet simulator for those wannabe Top Gun pilots.

There is a funfair, popular arts and crafts areas return as well as floral displays and guest speakers including the KT's own columnist who has many tales to tell- Tom Hart Dyke.

Sideshows in the arena feature the dazzling Linda Fryday Academy of Irish Dancers; Muay Thai Boxing, baby ballet and local bands Rush Hour and Taylor Made.

Organiser Frank Brown said: "It's been a challenge to meet the budget but I think in Lemar we have a top act to bring in the visitors.

"Last year we had 47,000 visitors and I'm hoping with the line up we have this year plus all the other great attractions, even more will come. I think it's fair to say it's the best two-day, free festival in the county.

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