CHRISTMAS arrived at Dudley Zoo in soap star style with a visit from a familiar Coronation Street face.

Lucy Evans, who played Lauren Wilson in the ITV show, and west end actor Oliver Watton were on hand to officially cut the ribbon on Santa’s Grotto at the popular tourist attraction.

The pair took time out from preparations for their panto, Sleeping Beauty, at The Grand Theatre in Wolverhampton, to welcome Father Christmas to the grotto.

Dudley Zoo marketing manager, Julia Lockett, said: “We’re delighted Lucy and Oliver took time out of their busy rehearsal schedule to visit us and officially greet Santa and the first young visitors to the grotto.

“We’re looking forward to welcoming hundreds of children over the next few weeks as the grotto runs until Christmas Eve.”