HE may have been far away from the county he took his name from but David Essex was given a very warm welcome last night in south Shropshire.

Despite being 66 years of age the former teen idol attracted the admiration of an army of female fans who screamed at the mere sight of the Ludlow Festival headliner as he appeared at the side of the stage.

The former pop pin-up performed a greatest hits package including Imperial Wizard, Winter's Tale and, of course, the classic Hold Me Close.

Mr Essex told the audience how he wrote his hit Me And My Girl (Night-Clubbing) while waiting for a female companion to get ready for a night out.

"She was taking a long time so I started to write this," he said.

His performance of Silver Dream Machine presented a problem of its own.

"That was dodgy I nearly got a fly in my gob," he said.

The evening didn't pass without a word of praise for Ludlow.

"What a lovely place Ludlow is. It's got a castle. Honest. It's over there," said the star pointing to the jewel in Ludlow's crown.

The evening ended with a spectacular firework display.

Support was provided by Showaddywaddy and Les McKeown’s Bay City Rollers.