East 17 kick off the festivities with performance at South Shields Christmas light switch-on
The countdown to Christmas officially on as East 17 switch on South Shields' light display.
Hundreds braved the cold and headed down to Market Place to see 90s pop legends East 17 at South Tyneside’s biggest light switch-on event on Thursday, November 21.
The band - best known for the Christmas number one Stay Another Day - pressed the big red button with the Mayor and Mayoress of South Tyneside, Councillor Norman Dick and Mrs Jean Williamson.
Despite the cold weather, crowds began to gather outside The Word from around 4.30pm, with some little ones more excited about the chance to catch a glimpse of Santa than the stars of the show.
The event was compered by BBC Newcastle’s Gilly Hope and was opened by local singing group Choirmaster who kicked the evening’s entertainment off with a few carols to get everyone into the spirit of things.
The cast of upcoming Customs House panto Snow White also made an appearance, before band members Robbie Craig, Terry Coldwell and Joe Livermore joined the Mayor and Mayoress on stage for the big countdown at 6.30pm.
The trio said they were ‘ready to rock’ and that they did, with lively dance routines set to six of their hit tracks, including House of Love and of course, the Christmas classic, Stay Another Day.
Original East 17 member, Terry Coldwell said: “It’s brilliant to be here because it’s something a little bit different. We’ve been doing events like this for the last two weeks up and down the country and it’s been really fun.
“It’s that time of year, it all feels very ‘Christmassy’ and us having a Christmas number one is a bonus.
“There were a lot of people out there tonight which is always good, so we’d like to thank South Shields and we hope everyone has a good Christmas.”
The event marks the start of the Christmas Wonderland programme and will be followed by Jarrow Christmas Lights Switch On and Boldon Christmas Festival on Friday, November 22 and Hebburn Christmas Lights Switch On on Monday, November 25.