Pier show comic Olly Day put on a smile - and lifejacket - as a threatened Christmas show bounced back into action.

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There were tears and fears the Cromer Christmas Show could have come to a premature end after just a week when the Pavilion Theatre was battered by the tidal surge.

Eager theatre-goers watched singers and dancers and the popular Norfolk entertainer Olly Day who opened today’s show wearing a lifejacket.

He said: “I’m not taking any chances. Lifebelts are available under everybody’s seat. Exits are at the back and please use the right hand side of the pier...We are chomping at the bit to give you this lovely show.”

The entertainer thanked North Norfolk District Council workers for “pulling out all the stops” to get the show up and running and he also thanked the audience for supporting the event.

Before the spectacle he said he was in shock after seeing the devastation on the pier.

The severe weather caused waves to crash over the box office, which remains shut along with the café.

Wooden boards were ripped up in the theatre bar and under an auditorium bench which were quickly replaced. Holes remain in some areas of the pier floor which are blocked off.

Mr Day said the speed of improvement works was testament to people who “pulled together”.

Lead male vocalist Eddie Bushell, 34, from Central Road, Cromer, said he was in tears the day after the floods and thought the show would have to be held elsewhere.

He added the experience had strengthened the bond between cast and crew.

Rebecca Wass, general manager of the theatre, said: “I was heartbroken when we first came to the pier on Friday. The worst bit was that we had no way to access the theatre safely so we thought we would have to cancel the show.”

She added there was a buzz backstage before the curtains opened.

Audience member Jo Lines, 75, from Ellingham, said: “Considering what the pier was like the workmen have done brilliantly. I couldn’t see the show opening before Christmas.”

The show runs until December 29 and to buy tickets call 01263 512495, visit www.cromer-pier.com or buy tickets on the door.

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