Showgoers were starstruck when a famous face was spotted mingling with fans of farming and country life.

Former Pop Idol, Will Young, was visiting Dalston Show how after travelling to the county to stay with a friend, Stevie Westgarth, who lives in Hayton.

Sporting a black beret and plastic raincoat, and mud-spattered boots, the singer said in an exclusive interview with the News & Star that he had been drawn to the show after hearing of its “traditional charm, scenic landscape and friendly locals”.

Will, 39, who sat on top of the midweek album charts with his new album, Lexicon, is a keen gardener and has appeared on Gardeners’ World in a segment talking on mental health.

The English singer said he was ‘disappointed’ he hadn’t been able to show his dahlias in the industrial section, because as he explained ‘they were past their best’ for showing.

“I’m a country boy at heart, and a keen gardener,” he confessed.

“I love this show. It is wonderful, its authenticity has not changed. It’s definitely not Starbucks,” said Will, who said he had not been put off by the mud and rain.

Will rose to fame after winning the first series of Pop Idol in 2002 before having a string of hits.

His struggles with anxiety and depression led him to quit Strictly Come Dancing in 2016, but his new album, Lexicon he compares to an “unplanned pregnancy” after he considered quitting music 18 months ago.

“I’m quite lazy,” he joked. “I don’t do anything,” before adding that he’s got a UK tour planned for this October and a new single about to be released.

Show chairman, Stephen Buckle, met Will in the Carlisle Bonsai Club tent: “He was very chatty. I offered him a tour of the showfield.

“The show hasn’t been a total washout, despite the persistent rain, but we had to cancel the horses section and the grand parade.”

Tractors were on-hand to help those whose vehicles became stuck in mud.

  • See more pictures and a results round-up in The Cumberland News on Friday