ACTOR Robbie Coltrane threw his own weight behind one of Wycombe's more quirky traditions on Saturday, when he visited the town's unique Mayor Making ritual.

The star of hit television show Cracker and blockbuster Harry Potter movies was filming for a new TV show focusing on the wackier side of British life.

And the newly elected mayor, Val Razzaq, was thrilled to meet the legendary Scotsman. She said: "Robbie Coltrane's been at my house since 8 o'clock this morning getting brekkie. You have no idea what it's been like!"

The tradition, held in Frogmoor, dates back to 1678, and weighs the mayor and other civic dignitaries to make sure they are not piling on the pounds at the public's expense. It began after a former mayor, Henry Shepard, was reportedly found drunk on the job.

And Robbie cheerfully joined in with the shoppers who flocked to the ceremony, jeering at the councillors who clocked in at heavier weights, and crying "huzzah!" to those who had kept in trim.

He delighted shoppers by stopping to speak to people, and asking children what they had been watching on telly lately.

Paul Barrett, 37, of Booker, was one of the onlookers. He said: "Robbie seemed like a really good bloke, and he definitely looked like he was enjoying himself. It was a fun thing for people to see."

Outgoing Mayor Darren Hayday was met with cries of "we know where the pies have gone," from a group of costumed cavaliers taking a break from the civil war re-enactment at the Wycombe Museum.

But he had cause to celebrate his latest encounter with the scales. He said: "I've actually lost two stone. I've been working really hard at the gym, five times a week, and I've been on a diet. I knew it was a good excuse to actually lose some weight."

But he said it was good to have a chance to relax.

He said: "I'm relieved it's over. It was an absolutely amazing year - the best year of my life. I've met lots of great people working for the town, I've had three royal engagements. But now I can go and relax in the garden."

He later announced that he had beaten his £20,000 target for Thames Valley and Chiltern Air Ambulance, pulling in around £22,000.

The new mayor said she was "shattered" after the preparations, and her unusual election win, which saw her name pulled out of a hat after both she and UKIP candidate Brian Pearce each won 410 votes.

She said: "I've been absolutely delighted with the day. I'm so, so thrilled."

TV heavyweight Robbie filmed the event as part of an upcoming show called Robbie Coltrane's Incredible Britain.

The programme will see the motoring enthusiast travelling between London and Glasgow on B roads in a classic red 1950's Jaguar XK150 sports car, trying to uncover the true spirit of Britain.