LYCRA-CLAD freerunners put on an afternoon of acrobatics in a North-East town centre to highlight the dangers of excessive drinking.

The team dressed up in brightly coloured skin-tight suits to resemble the characters in the Government’s Change4Life campaign and performed acrobatic flips, press ups, star jumps and fitness routines in Darlington town centre.

The unusual approach was taken by Balance, the North-East alcohol office, to draw attention to the health risks associated with drinking too much and to help people understand how alcohol units can sneak up on them.

Members of the Balance team also demonstrated the Change4Life drinks tracker app, which helps users to add up their units, calorie intake and the financial cost of their drinking.

Colin Shevills, Director of Balance, said: “The on-street events provide a lot of entertainment for city centre shoppers and we hope members of the public in Darlington enjoyed the spectacle.

“But there is a very serious message behind this activity.

“Alcohol is costing us dearly and is damaging the health, wealth and safety of people and communities in the North-East.

“Too many people are drinking too much but may not even be aware. Our region already has the highest number of alcohol –related hospital admissions in England and this needs to change.”

Research shows that currently only 16 per cent of North Easterners are keeping check on their units and alcohol consumption.