TEN thousand people turned out to watch R’n’B star Tinchy Stryder and X Factor winner Joe McElderry perform at one of the region’s biggest organised charity fireworks displays.

People flocked to Darlington’s South Park from around the region to TFM’s first Spooky Spectacular, despite speculation that the £8 charge would put punters off.

Although crowds were down on the free Darlington Borough Council fireworks event in the park, which last year attracted 50,000 people and cost the council £100,000 to put on, many of those who bought tickets said the cost was more than worth it. The free council display was axed this year due to budget cuts.

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Last night’s event was held to raise funds for the radio station’s Cash for Kids charity, which supports disadvantaged North-East children, and also included a performance from X Factor finalist Amelia Lily, from Middlesbrough.

The original line up was supposed to include boy band Blue, but the group were pulled at the last minute, with South Shields’ McElderry stepping in at the last minute.

He put on a lively show for the crowd, with the audience cheering and waving their arms in the air for his finale, Nessun Dorma.

Amelia Lily performed covers including Erma Franklin’s Piece of my Heart and Katy Perry’s ET.

By Lauren Pyrah lauren.pyrah@nne.co.uk Headline act Tinchy Stryder delighted his young fans with a set which started and ended with his biggest hit, Number 1 and also included recent record Spaceship and his new offering, Off The Record.

Gareth Warren, 32, from Stockton, said: “You would pay at least £30 to see Tinchy Stryder – the ticket price is more than fair. That’s who we’ve come to see.

“To be honest, I didn’t have the best impression of Joe McElderry before this, but fair play to him, he was really good. I’ll be buying his album now.

“My girlfriend has come here every year for the fireworks since she was little. She wanted us to come, and I think it’s great. We’ve had a great night.”

Nathan Walker, 17, from Darlington said: “It is a bit expensive, but considering who you get to see, it’s good. I am not bothered Blue aren’t performing – I came to see Tinchy Stryder.”

But Teresa Hay, 34, also from Darlington, said she was disappointed the boy band had been cancelled.

“I did come to see Blue,” she said. “I diidn’t find out they weren’t on until we got here. It wouldn’t have stopped me coming, though.”