CONSERVATIVE MP John Howell managed to find one superman to lift his spirits at the opening of the Dorchester Festival this weekend.

Thousands of revellers are set to enjoy more than two weeks of events at the eighth instalment of one of Oxfordshire's leading festivals, near Wallingford.

Henley's Mr Howell congratulated Style Acre CEO Chris Ingham, who overcame his fear of heights to abseil down the abbey tower dressed as the comic hero.

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The pair cut the ribbon at a formal opening of the festival, supported by Mr Ingham's charity, on Saturday.

Style Acre shares the festival proceeds with the old abbey and is directly involved in many of the events.

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It aims to enhances the lives of people with learning disabilities and autism throughout Oxfordshire, by providing 'person-centred high quality support' and a Work Programme.

The event – officially called the Dorchester-on-Thames Festival – is aiming to raise £50,000, with an impressive line up of professional performers and family entertainers.

More than 5,000 people are expected to dip into 62 events until Sunday, May 19.

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The biennial event, held in picturesque Dorchester Abbey, will include performances from The Tallis Scholars, John Rutter, The BBC Elstree Concert Band, Comedy with Angela Barnes, Star Wars CGI with Ben Morris and the usual mix of family and children’s entertainment.

Today's line up involves John Rutter, a charity fun run, three science events, a custard walk, a pubs and shops tour and a folk night with Jackie Oates, Sam Kelly and the Lost Boys.