HE usually lives under the sea but children’s character SpongeBob SquarePants was on land to meet young Banbury shoppers on Wednesday.

The yellow TV character, who lives in the fictional underwater city Bikini Bottom, was at Castle Quay shopping centre as part of its Fun4Free summer holidays campaign to get more families at the centre.

Salvia Close resident Hayley Anderson, a mum of three, took her four-year-old daughter Lucy Woodward to meet him and shake hands.

She said: “It’s her favourite TV show in the whole wide world and was absolutely made up to see him.

“She was looking all over the shopping centre and said ‘maybe he’s still in Bikini Bottom getting changed’ because she couldn’t find him at first.

“She saw the zip on the side of his costume but said ‘that’s because it’s his day suit’.”

Lucy, who has Sponge Bob-themed bedding and a bag, said: “I enjoyed it a lot because SpongeBob is my favourite programme.”

The shopping centre will feature a different character each Wednesday this month, with Dora the Explorer and Fireman Sam already planned.