HUNDREDS of people came along to the Echo-backed Life Begins 50+ exhibition at the BIC yesterday.

Star of the show celebrity TV chef James Martin gave cooking demonstrations throughout the day and met with fans.

Caroline Lowe, who has terminal cancer, said meeting her favourite TV chef was a dream come true. She said: “I have secondary breast cancer and made a bucket list last year. I was quite realistic with it and wanted to include things I could achieve and one of things I wanted to do was to meet the celebrities I watch on TV. James Martin was on there. I watch him every Saturday.”

Mrs Lowe and her daughter Rebbeca, who is a third year business and marketing student at Bournemouth University, had a private meeting with the Hampshire-based chef following one of his demonstrations.

“He’s fantastic,” Mrs Lowe said.

The top chef said he was delighted to be back in Bournemouth and had enjoyed meeting with fans.

He said: “I used to come here a lot when I was 18, 19 and 20. A lot has changed but the sea is still cold.

Throughout the day visitors had the chance to try out a simulator surf board, take part in dance classes and watch fashion shows.

Anita Nippard, who turned 50 last month, said she had a great time. She said: “I didn’t think I’d be doing the Cha Cha Cha at 10.30 on a Sunday morning. If I had known I would have worn something more sparkly.”

The mother of two added: “There’s lots to do. It’s been really good fun.”

Sue Wheatley, aged 71, said: “The main attraction for me was seeing James Martin.

“My family bought me tickets as a Christmas present. It’s been lovely.”

Borough of Poole councillor Claire Evans said she was delighted to see so many people there and added: “I’ve just been on the surf simulator.

“It was great fun.”