Belfast Telegraph

Darth Vader actor Spencer Wilding dons full costume in home town premiere

Star Wars fever came to Rhyl on Thursday night when the Welsh actor playing Darth Vader in the franchise's latest film, Rogue One, turned up in full costume for a special premiere in his home town.

Former British-Welsh kickboxing champion Spencer Wilding, 44, who also describes himself as a "special creature performer", thrilled locals as he arrived at the town's Vue cinema to the sound of the Imperial March.

He was flanked by volunteers for the Yorkshire-based charity Sentinel Squad UK, who were dressed as an array of characters from the film series, including Chewbacca, Princess Leia and numerous stormtroopers.

Fans at the event took to social media to express their joy at getting up close to their local hero - who has also played roles in Guardians Of The Galaxy, Doctor Who and the Harry Potter series.

David Starmore shared a picture with Wilding, adding: "Just chilling on the dark side of the force with Darth Vader."

And a beaming Gary Hogan tweeted a picture of himself and his son with "Big Spen", who is described on his website as a "robust 6'7'' man".

Donna Stelloo, 44, an administrator and member of the group, helped Wilding prepare for the event and expressed her excitement on Facebook.

She said it was "rather surreal" helping Spencer to get dressed into her husband's Vader suit, adding: "Sorry about the cold hands Spencer... but it made my day, how many people can say they've done that!".

Fellow Sentinel Squad member Nathaniel Bennett, 30, also marched alongside Wilding and was dressed as an Imperial Gunner.

He said: "Just to be a part of Spencer's night was an experience like no other I've had. Everyone was in great spirits before and after the event, we will be talking about this for many months to come.

"And Spencer is one of the nicest guys I've met, he took time to speak with all of us before, during and after the event," he added.

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