Fans seize chance to meet celebrities at student shopping party

Joey Essex taking a selfie with the crowds at the Student Shop-In
Joey Essex taking a selfie with the crowds at the Student Shop-In
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Thousands of students flocked to a Preston shopping centre for a star-studded VIP party.

Eager shoppers queued outside St George’s Shopping Centre ahead of the doors opening for the eighth annual Student Shop-In this week.

Students at St George's Shopping Centre's annual Student Shop-In.jpg

Students at St George's Shopping Centre's annual Student Shop-In.jpg

Once inside, the students from UCLan, Cardinal Newman, Runshaw and Preston’s College, made the most of exclusive shopping discounts.

More than 7,500 students from across the city and beyond then gathered around the stage ahead of the arrival of the evening’s guests of honour, TOWIE star Joey Essex and Ex on The Beach favourite Vicky Pattison.

The line-up also featured stars from ITV’s reality dating show Love Island.

Winners of an online meet and greet competition were introduced to the reality TV stars and the event culminated with one student walking away with a £1,000 cash prize, presented by the celebrity guests.

Winner Bethany Thompson-Lee, 17, from Buckshaw Village, who attends Runshaw College, made it to the stage just seconds before the three minutes to collect the prize were up.

TV personality Joey, who found fame on TOWIE in 2011 before becoming a hot favourite on ITV’s I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here, described the famous shop-in as “cool”.

He said: “There wasn’t anything like this around my way, it’s really exciting and different. I like it, it is good fun.”

Vicky Pattison, of MTV’s Geordie Shore and Ex on the Beach, said: “This is a great way to kick-off the new student year, I actually can’t believe how many people are here to shop.”

General manager of St George’s Shopping Centre, Andrew Stringer, said: “Students from across the city and beyond came out in full force and the feedback from our retailers has been extremely positive.

“The exclusive discounts from our retailers, quality offers from promoters and of course the appearance of our celebrity guests made for a hugely successful evening and showed just what can be achieved when businesses come together.”