Coronation Street actor Peter Gunn - perhaps better known to some as his character Brian Packham - delighted 70 guests at Ewood Park as he swapped the Rovers Return for the Rover 60 Lunch Club!
There was a broad smile across virtually every face in Blues Bar as the surprise visitor walked in to the group's latest monthly meet-up, as they quickly recognised him from his recent return to the iconic ITV1 series.
Blackburn-based Peter joined the friendly collective for lunch before making their day by conducting the raffle draw and answering questions about life on arguably Britain's most famous street.
He told them about the mix of excitement and nerves he felt on the first day he set foot on the cobbles, the transition between the Quay Street and Media City sets and the favourite stars of the show that he's enjoyed working with during his spells as a character in the long-running soap.
Peter was impressed with what he saw at the club-run event that helps a predominantly retired audience to stay connected with like-minded people in their local community, enjoying a nutritious and cost-effective lunch as a sociable group.
"It's brilliant how everyone comes together like this and I believe the concept has grown and grown recently," he explained
"When I've been to each table, I've been able to quickly get to know people and understand where they've come from. With everyone coming from Blackburn, we've had things in common and realised we've both known people.
"For example, until recently I was a governer at Lammack Junior School, and one of the ladies knew the lollypop man there, who I knew for years, and it was fantastic to catch up and remember Tony because he's no longer alive. Bringing back that memory of him really made my day."
Sharing a passion for the show with a like-minded group was definitely an afternoon well spent for Gunn, who kindly accepted an invitation to attend from Blackburn Rovers Community Trust trustee Cllr Maureen Bateson MBE, who has previously worked with him to help promote a number of valued causes around Blackburn with Darwen.
The day's special guest concluded:
"They are a really friendly group, and it's obvious that a lot of them watch Coronation Street, which I think is fantastic. A lot of them have been watching it for a very long time - even longer than I've been watching it - and they're die hard fans. It makes me think that we should show some more classic Corrie!
"I couldn't give them any spoilers about what's about to come - I like to watch it myself to find out because I only read my own parts! By watching it, I'm pleasantly surprised about what everyone else is up to."
Local residents who fall into the primary target age range of 60 years or over who would like to enjoy the socially inclusive element of future Rover 60 Lunch Club events can discover more information by calling Christine Peacock on 01254 508205.