Thousands turn out to celebrate the countdown to Christmas in Newcastle with ... - Metro Radio Arena

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Thousands turn out to celebrate the countdown to Christmas in Newcastle with Joe McElderry

Posted on 15 November 2017


On Tuesday evening [14th November] thousands of people wrapped up warm and gathered at the base of Grey’s Monument in Newcastle City Centre to start the festive countdown in true style as local superstar Joe McElderry joined the Lord Mayor, Cllr Linda Wright and other special guests to switch-on this year’s Christmas Lights.

The audience swelled to an estimated 5,000 strong crowd, who sang their hearts out along to Joe McElderry performing tracks from the hit musical “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”. Joe donned the famous dreamcoat and took centre stage alongside hosts Steve and Karen, Breakfast Show presenters from Metro Radio, former X Factor contestant Sam Lavery, cast members from Newcastle Panto Company’s “Sleeping Beauty” and South Shields singer JPage.

Cllr Linda Wright, the Lord Mayor of Newcastle, said: “It was an honour and a privilege to stand in front of so many lovely people to help switch-on Newcastle’s Christmas Lights.  Pressing the button meant such a big deal to me, not only as Lord Mayor of the City - playing a part in a great festive tradition but also as a grandparent with my grandchildren excited that Grandma got the chance to turn on the Christmas Lights this year. What a marvellous experience!

“Newcastle City Centre is beautifully illuminated and looking a treat, all ready for people to visit the city to do their Christmas shopping and to enjoy everything that Newcastle has to offer.”

Joe McElderry, said: “The people of Newcastle definitely didn’t disappoint. They came out in force and everyone had great fun.  Newcastle has always been a city that has created some wonderful memories for me, and the Christmas Lights switch-on will be added with fondness. It was especially exciting to perform as Joseph and give audiences a taster of what they can expect in December at Metro Radio Arena.

“Christmas is a special time of year and we all shared a lovely moment, and I wish the people of Newcastle a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.”

Broadway Travel were the official sponsors of Newcastle City Centre Christmas Lights Switch-on. They gave one lucky person a chance to win a holiday for four to Madeira. Product Director of Broadway Travel, Phil Turner, said: “As a Newcastle based company we were really excited to play our part in one of the City’s biggest and most celebrated events of the year. The switch-on has a special place in the hearts of residents, families and visitors to Newcastle.  We hope everyone had an amazing time and the evening certainly got the countdown to Christmas off with a bang!”

Steve Furnell, presenter on Metro Radio’s Breakfast Show, said: “The Newcastle crowd were totally game for a laugh, and they got involved from the start with a Christmas sing-along and some crazy festive games.  Karen and I had an amazing evening that we hope got everyone in the Christmas spirit.  The night was capped off with an appearance from the big man himself, Santa, who will go back to the North Pole with a right royal North-East cheer ringing in his ears.”

The Christmas Lights switch-on also gave the NSPCC a chance to tell the public more about their ‘Light up Christmas for Children’ campaign. Community fundraising manager for the North East Jackie Dawson said: “The generosity of the people of Newcastle never ceases to amaze me and we are so grateful for your support.

“Thank you so much to everyone who came and gave very generously and to Newcastle City Council for partnering with us, with your donations the NSPCC can be a shining light for children who are in need of our help this festive season and all year round.”

An estimated 20,000 festive lights will illuminate parts of the City including areas of Northumberland Street; Blackett Street; Percy Street; Grey Street; Grainger Street; Nelson Street; Newgate Street; Neville Street; and the Quayside. This year there will be an extra special light to look out for, a 4-metre tall Teddy Bear!

The teddy bear will be situated on a special plinth with the Christmas Lights and Grey’s Monument illuminating the background…ideal for a festive selfie #NCLXmasBear!