RED Dwarf star Craig Charles has finally come clean over why Swindon was the butt of so many jokes on the cult BBC TV series.

The town was described by Mr Charles' character Lister as a place that feels the same as being dead.

But the Coronation Street actor yesterday pronounced his love of the town and revealed why Swindon was often referred to as Ha Ha Swindon'.

He was in town for the Red Dwarf cast's visit to memorabilia store Infinitely Better in the Brunel Centre.

"I've played the Wyvern Theatre a few times and it's sold out every time," he said.

"I love coming to Swindon and we've had a great turnout here today.

"The main reason we had so many jokes about Swindon is because the people of Swindon are fully developed human beings, who are good for a laugh.

"I've always had a fantastic time whenever I've been here."

Hundreds of people flocked to the Brunel Centre to get a glimpse of their favourite stars, who were coming together for their first public reunion since the show ended in 1998.

Among the cast members present were Chris Barrie (Rimmer), Robert Llewellyn (Kryten), Danny John-Jules (The Cat), Chloe Annett (Kochanski) and Norman Lovett (Holly).

And Mr John-Jules admitted to being overwhelmed by the level of support from fans of the show.

"A few of us did a similar appearance in Oxford Street (London) a couple of days ago and we wrote more signatures than Mariah Carey, so I think we are definitely main stream.

"We had so many different characters on the show and I think that contributed to its popularity plus the fact it was seen as a bit of escapism by viewers.

"None of us have changed much, apart from a few more grey hairs, and you can feel the energy in the room when we are all together." Dozens of people queued up for several hours to get a prominent position in the race to have their pictures taken and signed by the crew of The Small Rouge One.

Nathan Tapp, of Bath Road, Wootton Bassett, was one of the first in line.

"I've been here since 8.30am and I was fourth or fifth in the queue," the 22-year-old said.

"I've been a fan of the show for many years. It was my brother's fault as he got me interested in it.

"Craig (Charles) was a legend and I also got a kiss off Chloe (Annett). I offered her a pound, but she said she would give me a kiss for free.

"It was my birthday last Tuesday and that has just made it."