RESIDENTS in and around Whitehaven have been left delighted after Michael Portillo was spotted in the area this week.

The former MP and documentary maker has been spotted in Whitehaven , as well as Ravenglass and South Lakeland on a number of occasions earlier this week.

Michael Portillo visited Wils Hambling butcher's in Whitehaven market place. Owner David Dawson said: "He was here and it's something to look forward to in the future."

Christopher Webb, from Moor Row, met Michael Portillo on a visit to the La’al Ratty at Ravenglass on Sunday.

The 24-year-old often visits the popular attraction as a way of spending time with his family.

The past year has been very tough for the family, who have not been able to see Christopher very much over the past year due to lockdown restrictions – with the year being especially tough on Chris’s sister Rebecca, 22, who has missed out on being able to spend time with her brother.

Since April of last year Christopher has lived at West House in Camerton, a respite centre for adults with learning disabilities.

The family enjoy their days out to the La’al Ratty as the attraction has been a firm favourite, with Chris and his sister visiting since they were babies.

Christopher’s mum Nicola said: “My son has been in respite since last year. The Ratty is the only place he really sees us.

“We just booked to go on and Michael Portillo just happened to be there.”

The family were delighted when the popular documentary maker was so kind and accommodating to the family.

Christopher is a firm fan of the former MP, greatly enjoying his documentaries about trains and their journeys all over the world.

On meeting Mr Portillo, Nicola said: “He came over and then Chris gave him a high five, he was just chatting to him.

“Chris loves the Ratty and Michael Portillo being on there, well he is one of his heroes, so he was so happy, and Rebecca really, really enjoyed it too.”

“This was such a lovely experience for us all and will be one that is never forgotten. We would like to say many thanks to Michael Portillo for being so kind and taking the time to talk to Christopher and Rebecca.”