A FORMER long-serving councillor said he is pleased with the reception given to his debut appearance at a major arts festival.

Chris Foote Wood, from Darlington, made his Edinburgh Fringe Festival debut in August at the age of 73.

His hour-long show - named The Genius of Charles Dickens - saw him bring a number of Dickens’ characters to life on stage, including Scrooge, Oliver Twist and Uriah Heep.

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Mr Foote Wood performed at the Sweet Grassmarket venue over a week, where a number of nights were sold out.

“I was quite overwhelmed that the first three nights were full,” he said.

“Considering there are 3,100 shows and many struggle to sell tickets I am very pleased.

“I also got a fantastic review. It has encouraged me to carry on with the show as well.”

Mr Foote Wood has written more than a dozen books - including one on inspirational lifestyle advice for active older people - and starred in many pantomimes.