IT’S OFFICIAL: THE CHRISTMAS COUNTDOWN HAS STARTED

The countdown to Christmas officially started today with the Oxford Street Christmas Lights Switch On Event at the John Lewis Flagship store, an event which is broadcast and seen by millions around the world.

Cheryl, Rixton, Jess Glynne and Neon Jungle were the huge stars on hand to help light up London for the festive season, with London’s number one commercial Breakfast show presenters, Capital’s Dave Berry and Lisa Snowdon, leading the evening’s proceedings.

Rixton opened The Switch On Show with a bang, with performances of brand new single ‘Wait On Me’ and ‘Me and My Broken Heart’, and were followed by hot new talent Jess Glynne with her hits ‘Right Here’ and ‘Rather Be’. Neon Jungle later took to the stage with ‘Trouble’, ‘Can’t Stop Love’ and ‘Braveheart’.

Oxford Street’s ‘Talent Starts Here’ social media competition winner, 16 year old Lauren Mae Kidd from Finchley, London, gave a beautiful rendition of the festive ‘O Holy Night’, with incredible vocals in what was her first ever live performance.

Crowds also enjoyed a spectacular performance of ‘Pure Imagination’ from the cast of West End musical Charlie and The Chocolate Factory.

Cheryl then delighted the crowds when she flicked the switch to illuminate the £1.5 million light scheme, made up of 1778 baubles created using 750,000 LED bulbs. The lights are funded by Oxford Street retailers and will welcome more than 40 million people who are expected to visit the street to do their Christmas shopping over the festive period.

Cheryl said: “Being a part of the Oxford Street Christmas lights switch on has made me feel all Christmassy! I was delighted to help officially kick off the festive season by flicking the switch that lit up London so magically.”

Rixton said: “Being able to perform our new single ‘Wait On Me’ to so many fans was a real honour. It’d be impossible for us not be excited about Christmas after being surrounded by snow, bright lights and thousands of people, but it’s also reminded us that we need to get started on our Christmas shopping!”
Jess Glynne said: “Being a Londoner means the Oxford Street Christmas lights switch on is a really iconic event, and having the opportunity to perform at it was something incredibly memorable.”

Capital London’s Breakfast show presenters Dave Berry and Lisa Snowdon said: “The countdown to Christmas has officially begun now that the Oxford Street Christmas lights have been switched on. We were thrilled to be a part of all the excitement for a second year alongside some of the biggest names in music, and we’d like to thank you, London, for being such a great crowd!”

Oxford Street talent winner, Lauren Mae Kidd said: “I will remember tonight for as long as I live. Performing on my favourite shopping street, with such an incredible line up, was out of this world. Now I’ve performed to such a large crowd, I’m going to do everything I can to make a career in the music industry.”

Karen Lord, Managing Director at John Lewis Oxford Street, commented: “The store was buzzing. There were fantastic performances from all the acts, the atmosphere amongst the crowd was incredible and the best news ever: the weather is getting colder. An all-round great night.”

Jace Tyrrell, Deputy CEO at New West End Company, the event organisers, says: “The 2014 Oxford Street Christmas Lights Switch On, the 55th in the Street’s history, was a terrific experience for our shoppers. You see some of the same faces in the crowd of shoppers who have been coming to the Switch On event for years, and see it as Christmas Starts on Oxford Street Lights Night.”

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