Stoke & Staffordshire

'Strictly' kayak champ Joe Clarke turns on Stafford's Christmas lights

Joe Clarke
Image caption Joe Clarke was guest of honour at the Christmas lights switch-on in Stafford

Rio gold medallist Joe Clarke has switched on Stafford's Christmas lights.

Fresh from appearing in a Strictly Come Dancing special for Children in Need on Friday, the kayak champion, from Stone, flicked the switch in front of the crowds at about 17:00 GMT.

He was also given the Freedom of the Borough of Stafford.

Clarke, a member of Stafford and Stone Canoe Club, won the kayak K1 gold in Rio in August.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Joe Clarke appeared on a CiN Strictly Come Dancing special with hockey star Hollie Webb, rower Helen Glover and eventual winner, taekwondo athlete Lutalo Muhammad

He was not as successful as a Strictly dancer on Friday evening, with Team GB taekwondo silver medallist Lutalo Muhammad being crowned the winner of the Pudsey trophy.

He was up also up against gold medal-winning rower Helen Glover MBE and hockey player Hollie Webb.

Image copyright Stafford Borough Council
Image caption Hundreds of people came to see Joe Clarke turn the lights on
Image copyright EPA
Image caption Clarke is reigning Olympic champion

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