Excitement builds as Lionel Richie prepares to take the stage in Northampton tonight

Lionel Richie is coming to Northampton tonight.
Lionel Richie is coming to Northampton tonight.

After months of build up - megastar Lionel Richie is just hours away from launching his world tour in Northampton. Here's what you need to know.

Tonight's show at Franklin's Gardens will be the first time Richie has appeared in the UK since his 2016 ‘All The Hits’ tour, which followed a phenomenal Glastonbury performance in 2015

Richie will take to the stage at around 7pm.

Richie will take to the stage at around 7pm.

More than 200,000 people flocked to the Pyramid Stage to make up the biggest crowd of the weekend on that occasion.

Tonight, fans will be able to enjoy timeless hits such as ‘Lady’, ‘Truly, ‘Dancing on the Ceiling’, ‘Say You Say Me’, ‘Hello’ and ‘All Night Long’ at the stadium in Weedon Road.

Those considering whether to pack an umbrella should know the MET Office has predicted a 30 per cent chance fo rainfall. Large golf umbrellas are NOT allowed at the event.

Either way it is sure to be a muggy evening, with temperatures to remain around 20 C until 11pm.

Gates for the concert are due to open at 4.30pm.

American singer-songwriter Anastacia, who had a top ten UK hit with I'm Outta Love in 2000, will take to the stage as the support act at 6.55pm.

There will be an interval at 7.55pm.

Then global superstar Lionel Ritchie will begin his performance at 8.25pm, closing his set at around 10.15pm.

Food and picnic hampers cannot be taken into the venue.

It is also worth noting that those sitting in seating blocks AA, BB, CC and DD will be situated on the pitch and may want to consider a raincoat, just in case.

Those needing to park may need to pay.

All of the Franklin's Gardens parking has now sold out.

But Northampton Town Football Club are offering the north gravel car park near the Sixfields Tavern for £5 on entrance.

St James Church of England Primary School and the Super Sausage Cafe in St Andrews road are also offering spaces at £5 a car. To book one, call 01604 636099.

Richie has now sold over 100 million records worldwide and the four-time Grammy winner says he is relishing the thought of returning to British soil once again.

“I’ve been missing the UK and can’t wait to make my long-awaited return, and to see parts of the country I’ve never made it out to before,” he said.

“The fans are always incredible and they make the atmosphere at every show electric, so I look forward to singing along with them soon.”