South Shields star Joe McElderry to kick off Christmas in Newcastle
South Shields stage star Joe McElderry has been chosen to kick start Christmas on Tyneside.
The former X Factor winner will join Lord Mayor of Newcastle, Coun Linda Wright, to switch on the city’s Christmas lights.
Thouands of people are expected at the event - at Grey’s Monument - on Tuesday, Novemver 14.
Joe is also be starring in the lead role in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor® Dreamcoat at Metro Arena in Newcastle.
Joe said: “I am so excited to be coming home to switch the Christmas lights on in my home city ahead of performing in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.
“I’ve had an incredible year touring the country with the cast of Joseph and coming back to Newcastle to perform and switch on the Christmas Lights is the icing on the cake for 2017.
“The Geordie crowds are always so welcoming, friendly and get into the partying spirit. I’m looking forward to seeing some old friends but at the same time performing in front of new audiences. I couldn’t think of a better place to kick off the Christmas season but back at home in the North East. I can’t wait to see you all.”
Joe will be entertaining an expected 5,000 strong crowd at the base of Grey’s Monument for an hour of festive songs, entertainment and on-stage games.
The switch-on line up also including Sam Lavery - who was in X Factor last year - and members from the cast of Sleeping Beauty.
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.
Coun Kim McGuinness, Newcastle City Council’s cabinet member for culture and communities, said: “It’s great news to have Joe McElderry joining in the fun and helping to celebrate the countdown towards Christmas.
“The atmosphere in Newcastle is always magical with the beautiful city being illuminated with thousands of lights. It just adds to the whole city centre experience that greets residents, shoppers and visitors to Newcastle.”
The switch-on will start at 5.30pm with the lights being switched on at approximately 6.30pm.
The event is free and people are advised to get down early to secure the best vantage point.