Stars were singing in the rain for festival finale

Lea Salonga at West End Proms, Lytham Festival
Lea Salonga at West End Proms, Lytham Festival

The heavens may have opened over the Green for the closing night of Lytham Festival, but no one was going to rain on the parade of stars on show.

BBC weatherman Tomasz Schafernaker opened the night, via a recorded clip, promising better weather than last year... Well, it wasn’t windy. Back to weatherman school Tomasz!

Lucie-Mae Sumner at West End Proms, Lytham Festival

Lucie-Mae Sumner at West End Proms, Lytham Festival

Under a sea of plastic ponchos, the festival devotees still tucked into their picnics, albeit with soggy sausage rolls and watered down fizz.

Local lasses Jodie Prenger, Lucie-Mae Sumner and Joanne Appleby got the West End Proms show off to a fine start, with performances as sparkling as their gowns, each of them clearly delighted to be in a home stage.

Claire Sweeney and Ruthie Hensall added a huge dose of pizazz to the proceedings, while former S Club 7 star Jon Lee was our main leading man for the night.

The ladies’ joined Jodie for a brilliant version of Gotta Get A Gimmick from Gypsy, while musical theatre boy band Collabro were in stunning form.

Jodie Prenger at West End Proms, Lytham Festival

Jodie Prenger at West End Proms, Lytham Festival

Up and coming star Lucie had the huge pressure of singing Movie In My Mind from Miss Saigon, in front of the woman largely responsible for the show’s phenomenal success, before having the honour of welcoming the absolute star of the night Lea Salonga, a true international legend of the musical world, to the festival arena.

I couldn’t help shed a tear - or two, or three - at her singing I’d Give My Life For You, from the show which made her name, as a tribute to her career, husband and children.
We were in the presence of greatness.

A crooner’s set from Marti Pellow opened act two with the rather ironic Summertime.

Segments from Phantom Of The Opera and Les Miserables were wonderful - albeit hard-going from an audience perspective at a time when we perhaps needed something a bit more cheery to combat the creeping damp.

The West End Proms Children's Chorus at West End Proms, Lytham Festival

The West End Proms Children's Chorus at West End Proms, Lytham Festival

And the young stars of the show were the local youngsters in the West End Proms Children’s Choir.

There was a definite sense of stoic Britishness to see several thousand people sat in the pouring rain, not sure if they're absolutely miserably wet or absolutely loving life thanks to an exceptional array of West End talent.

And, as always, proms-goers were sent home with a glow in their hearts thanks to a blazing fireworks display to close the night.

No, we weren't quite Singing In The Rain, but it was a special night and with such an astonishing line-up, one unlikely to ever be repeated again... But if anyone is up to topping it, I'd like to see Lytham Festival's Cuffe And Taylor try.

Challenge laid down, and we'll see you all on the Green next year.