William Shatner has dispelled gossip that he will be doing the honours at the Frodsham Christmas Festival lights switch-on this Saturday (November 29), saying there's a reason sham is a component of the market town's name.

The rumour mill went into overdrive on Monday night (November 24) when @Frodshamxmas tweeted that the Star Trek actor would be appearing at the festival.

The Twitter account had been teasing people for days with the promise of a mystery guest.

@Frodshamxmas, which has amassed more than 1,240 followers, also posted a picture of the star with the text: "I'm very excited to be coming to Frodsham.

"I have long been fascinated by the glacial landscape of the Cheshire countryside - its vast plain and sandstone ridges, not unlike some distant planet visited by the crew of the Enterprise. See you there!"

But Captain Kirk put paid to the rumour overnight, tweeting:

"The village of Frodsham UK is promising I will turn on holiday lights? There's a reason why the word Sham is in the name! Sorry, not true."

Cllr Mike Pusey, chair of Love Frodsham which is organising the festival, said: "It is obviously a prank. It's a good job they didn't say it was Gary Barlow switching the lights on.

"That probably would have caused us some hassle as it would have been more credible with him being local."

Kate Dodgson, executive director of Frodsham Foundation - which was responsible for organising last year's festival - said the publicity may have raised awareness of the festival and pointed out it was obviously done in jest but warned that mischievous behaviour like this can bring its own problems.

She said: "These pranks cause an awful lot of issues for organisers."

The unwitting celebrity at the centre of last year's hoax was David Hasselhoff.

Mr Shatner, 80, last night engaged in a little tomfoolery with the Chronicle, taking issue with the original picture we used of him.

 
 

Sadly for Trekkies in and around Frodsham, the town looks set to remain where no William Shatner has boldly gone before.