A CHRISTMAS tree dubbed ‘Britain’s worst’ was lit up in all its splendour last night.

Northallerton’s cone-shaped artificial Christmas tree got the unfortunate title before being seen with its lights on.

Now Julia Robinson, of Northallerton’s Business Improvement District, said: “The ugly duckling has been transformed into a beautiful swan.

“We hope people will come to Northallerton and judge the tree for themselves and enjoy the shops while they’re here.”

The artificial tree was installed because BID was unable to get permission to put supporting structures for a real on on the council-owned land on the High Street.

A Santa’s Street Party event yesterday afternoon saw the big man himself arrive in the town at midday – and when he made his exit at 4pm the tree was lit up for the first time.

Celebrations also included three wise men on camels, the Leeming Bar Military Wives Choir and a Flash-mob nativity.