Schoolchildren joined forces with former X Factor contenders to dazzle at the News & Star Concert for the Community.

They put on a spectacular show during two performances at Carlisle’s Sands Centre yesterday which proved a smash-hit with audiences.

And the show - compered by renowned city broadcaster John Myers - launched with a bang, courtesy of The Exlposive Show Team performing some classing hits.

Jonathan Higgins, arts, entertainment and events manager at the Sands Centre said: “This is the biggest show we’ve ever produced for the News & Star’s annual concert.

“We like to think of this as our very own Royal Variety Performance”

And some of the audience were not just celebrating Christmas.

The show was also a birthday treat for Violet Devlin, of the Ecclefechan Day Centre who has recently celebrated her 90th birthday.

She said “Im looking forward to the music the most and its the second year I have been”

John Therkeld, 84, of Penton, who was at the performance with his, 76-year-old wife of 52 years, Margaret, joked that his favourite part of the concert was; “getting the breakfast before I come”.

His wife added: “We have always enjoyed it. We have been coming for a lot of years.”

It has became a tradition for many of the people who enjoy the show.

Sandra Woodley,65, who was also there with the Ecclefechan Day Centre said: “ I used to come with my mother, several years ago but she passed away, so I’m here on my own.”

She added of the event: “It starts Christmas off. You come down and see everyone enjoying themselves and you get to see all the entertainment and, of course, we slip a little something in for charity.”

Donations were collected for the News & Star Christmas Toy Appeal.