WHEN Peter Kay told the BIC he wanted to hold the first of his seven dance-a-thons in aid of Cancer Research in Bournemouth, they must have wondered what they were letting themselves in for.

After all, Britain’s funniest man – he’s in the Guinness Book of Records, he is, having played to just the 1.2 million people on his last tour – has never graced this town with his celebrated act, garlic bread and all.

Well on Saturday it was our privilege to find out just what happens when you let ‘DJ PK’ take over your venue.

You get glitter balls. You get pyro-technics. You get ribbons and paper hearts cascading from the roof and a three-hour set in which every single tune was accompanied by its own individual light show or video.

Including videos of Gloria Hunniford, Brian Potter and Rick Astley, holding up a sign saying ‘Hello Bournemouth’.

Down on the dance floor you get legwarmers, ra-ra-skirts, fright wigs, people dressed up as Smurfs, Oompa-Loompas and the Village People. And all of them belting out the words to every tune, which included everything you’ve ever danced to, basically.

Even Kay, complete with retro shell-suit: “I got it off Amazon” looked surprised.

“Thank-you all for coming,” he yelled, explaining that we were all there to have a good time and raise money to defeat cancer.

“It’s like a school disco in ‘ere, isn’t it?” he told us, before leading the Birdie Song and launching into Abba’s Dancing Queen and 180 minutes of the best feel-good songs in the world.

Kay was joined on stage by his Car Share sidekick, Sian Gibson, and later, by the Zumba ladies of Christchurch, who lead us in a fab rendition of Uptown Funk, Sax by Fleur East and Making Your Mind Up by Buck’s Fizz.

It’s hard to say exactly why this was such a brilliant evening because Kay doesn’t do his stand-up routine. He introduces very little of his previous material.

All you can say is that he promised us a ‘joyous and unforgettable experience’, a ‘dance-a-thon party that WILL change lives’ and he kept that promise.

Looking over the rainbow colours on the dance-floor, with thousands of people waving their arms and singing along to ‘The Time of My Life’ is to know what it means to be alive.

And as we all left, after Kay promised to ‘Do it all again next year’, all you could hear was the sound of people singing his final tune, Abba’s ‘Thank-you for the music’.

Which we do.