CROWDS of fans turned up last night to see pop star Billie Piper turn on Middlesbrough's Christmas lights.

Billie was the star of a TFM radio roadshow organised to coincide with the festive switch-on.

The young star, whose latest single Walk of Life is out on November 27, was flown into Teesside Airport in a private jet and rushed to Albert Road, in the Teesside town, for the switch-on ceremony.

Other pop acts, including Artful Dodger and Supersister, entertained the crowds, who also got a sneak preview of the new outdoor ice rink next to the town hall.

Stars of Aladdin on Ice, Billingham's pantomime, performed on the ice along with British junior skating champion Debbie Keely, of Stockton.

A spokesman for TFM said: "It's great that we have been able to get a star like Billie to turn on the Christmas lights. It has made it a real occasion.