Hundreds of schoolchildren have enjoyed an explosive journey inside the human digestive system ahead of Bishop Auckland Food Festival.

CBBC Gastronuts and Incredible Edibles presenter Stefan Gates captivated youngsters with eye-catching experiments and fascinating facts as part of the festival’s school outreach programme this week.

More than 600 children from local primary schools attended the sessions in Bishop Auckland Town Hall, gaining an exclusive first peak of the exciting demonstrations Stefan will deliver when the festival returns on Saturday,13 April and Sunday, 14 April.

A distinguished television presenter, author and broadcaster, Stefan is just one of the famous food personalities attending the Durham County Council event, with BBC MasterChef co-host Gregg Wallace heading the line-up.

From sitting on giant whoopee cushions to demonstrate the science of flatulence, to sampling unusual foods and exploring how the taste buds work, Stefan’s young audience hung on his every word.

Visitors to the food festival can expect even more exciting antics from Stefan, who will deliver sessions in a dedicated marquee in the New Bondgate car park on both days at 11am and 1pm. Tickets cost £3.

Joining Stefan and Gregg at the event will be actress and restauranteur Jennie McAlpine, BBC MasterChef’s reigning champion Kenny Tutt and television presenter Angellica Bell. Tickets are still available for all of the demonstrations but are selling fast so food fans are encouraged to book in advance. Great British Bake Off semi-finalist Briony May Williams will also be cooking up some of her favourite recipes on the festival’s free stage.

Entry to the event will be free once again this year and festival-goers can look forward to even more choice, with more than 150 traders preparing to serve up the finest local produce and workshops for people of all ages.