FORMER Dr Who, Colin Baker, will take an audience back into the history of one of the North-East's oldest town's as the climax of a day of celebrations.

The television Time Lord is narrating the production, which includes a 30-piece orchestra and more than 200 local schoolchildren to tell the history of Chester-le-Street, County Durham, at Lumley Castle on Saturday

The show, recalling key events from the town's history and myths, will be performed on the lawns in front of an audience of 800.

Baker has written More Than A Street, with director and composer George Hastings. The actor has made several trips to the area to research the project.

The musical festival, called Celebration, came out of an original idea from Peter Darrant, media and project manager at Lumley Castle Hotel, who has joined up with Baker to write ten songs for the show.

"We decided we'd have a little bit of Shakespeare on our lawn for the summer. Then the council said they'd like to do something and the idea just grew from there," he said.

"We've ended up with a show involving 200 schoolchildren, 30 musicians and a 50ft Lambton Worm. The whole town is getting involved."

From 10am, Chester-le-Street will be packed with street performers, brass bands and characters in period costume.

The show has the actor as a time-travelling narrator taking two children back in time to see scenes from the past acted out.

Tyneside Pop Idol finalist Aaron Bayley will be singing two of the original songs.

Remaining tickets, costing £10, are available from Lumley Castle Hotel and Chester-le-Street council.