TRIBUTES have been paid to a popular all-singing and all-dancing talent who spent his life lighting up the stage.

Peter Henderson, became a well-known face to those in the Darlington Operatic Society in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

However, his love of performing started much earlier when he became a soprano singer as a boy in the St William and St Francis de Sales RC Church in Darlington.

A large congregation gathered at the same church on October 31 for Mr Henderson's funeral to celebrate the life of a loving brother, uncle and godfather and a "wonderful friend".

The 82-year-old passed away on October 14. He had worshipped in the Barton Street church for more than 76 years.

Mr Henderson became a familiar face to Darlington Operatic Society members and theatre-goers after he assumed roles in shows such as No No Nanette, Oklahoma, Carousel, The King and I, Brigadoon, and many other popular musicals.

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, the Darlington talent was also in demand for roles in other societies in Stockton, Shildon and South Shields.

A friend of Mr Henderson called him "a man of many parts" and added: "There were plenty of singers who could not dance, plenty of dancers who could not sing. Peter could do both.

"In one show, La Belle Helene, his dance included an 'entrechat six', which, involves leaping up from bent knees, and crossing and uncrossing your legs six times before landing gracefully. No problem for someone so agile."

Arthritis called time on Mr Henderson's dancing days, so he turned his hand to performing solo and for other Darlington groups in the Elm Ridge Methodist Church, with the Richardson Singers and later with The Meltones, a male voice choir.

When St Augustine’s Repertory Society, also known as STARS, was formed in 1985, Mr Henderson helped with stage make-up, wigs and costumes for their first pantomime, Dick Whittington.