A GARAGE owner was surprised when 1970s crooner David Essex booked his car in for a service.

The singer was staying at the five-star Rockliffe Hall Hotel, in Hurworth, near Darlington, in between tour stops.

He dropped his car – a BMW X5 - off at nearby Oxford Garage for a check-up.

Owner Kieron MacDonald (CORR) said the singer and former EastEnders star had previously used the garage under his real name, David Cook.

Mr MacDonald said: “I remembered serving him two years ago, but had not realised who he was.

“He called up recently to book his car in for a service, under the name David Essex, and said he was using us again because we had done a good job the first time.”

He described the stars as "a nice guy, very laid-back".