It’s official - Christmas has arrived in South Shields.
Hundreds of people of all ages headed down to the town’s market place to mark the start of the festive season - Jedward style.
The twins - John and Edward Grimes - who shot to fame on TV talent show the X-Factor were the main attraction of this year’s lights switch-on with fans standing in the rain from 3pm to ensure they had a spot in the front of the crowd.
The event was compered by Alfie Joey and was opened by South Tyneside singer Abbi Garrido before the crowd- some of whom had travelled from Germany and Jedward’s native Ireland were entertained by the stars of this year’s Customs House pantomime Beauty and the Beast.
However, the party didn’t really get started until Jedward were handed the mics and the stage came alive, following the annual Christmas Lights switch on by the Mayor and Mayoress of
South Tyneside Coun Ken Stephenson and Cathy Stephenson, as they belted out songs Last Christmas, Ice,Ice Baby and Rock DJ among others.
Jedward said: “The crowd have been fantastic, very welcoming and we’d love to come back to South Shields.
“We feel like we have made a lot of new friends. Everyone has been really friendly - it’s been fantastic,”
Compere Alfie Joey said: “The crowd turned out in force on the most grottiest of nights. The bad weather did not make the slightest bit of difference. Abi Garrido gets better every year and the pantomime cast were fantastic and Jedward are just a force of nature.
“They are like Redbull on stage. They are full of energy and really got the crowd going.”
Ciaran Farren, travelled from Newcastle to see his old friends Jedward on stage.
He said: “They put on a fantastic show and everyone seemed to have a great time.”