Rita Ora lights up Oxford Street for Christmas
(Photo credit) PRESS ASSOCIATION
Thousands flocked to the West End this evening to celebrate the start of Christmas as Oxford Street switched on its world-famous lights in partnership with the NSPCC
The ‘Switch On’ event was hosted by Roman Kemp and Vick Hope from Capital Breakfast – London’s no.1 commercial breakfast show – with performances by Matt Terry and 5 After Midnight.
Switch On with Rita Ora
The countdown to Christmas has begun as Rita Ora pushes the button on the Oxford Street Christmas lights in central London. The switch on event was in partnership with the NSPCC’s ‘Light Up Christmas for Children’ campaign and Capital. Now in its 58th year of celebrations, the Oxford Street Christmas Lights will use 750,000 LED bulbs and 1,778 baubles in a snowfall theme blanketing the whole mile of shopping street.
Today officially marked the start of Christmas in the capital, as international pop sensation Rita Ora switched on Oxford Street’s world-famous Christmas lights. Thousands flocked to the shopping street to help kick-start the festive season in style, joining Rita Ora, Matt Terry, 5 After Midnight and Capital Breakfast’s Roman Kemp and Vick Hope for the iconic ‘Switch On’, which was broadcast to millions worldwide.
The pinnacle moment of the evening, actress and singer Rita Ora flicked the all-important switch to light up Oxford Street with this year’s magical display. Inspired by falling snowflakes, the mile-long exhibit features over 750,000 bright white LED bulbs and 1,778 baubles, showcasing the true spirit of Christmas at London’s most popular shopping destination.
The spectacle welcomed show-stopping entertainment from start to finish. The evening was hosted by Capital Breakfast’s Roman Kemp and Vick Hope – presenters of London’s no.1 commercial breakfast show – with live performances from X Factor 2016 winner Matt Terry, and fellow X Factor finalists 5 After Midnight.
Bringing the magic of the West End to life, members of the Tony-Award nominated musical Five Guys Named Mo also wowed the crowds with a high-energy jazz number.
For the second year running, Oxford Street partnered with children’s charity NSPCC, coinciding with the charity’s ‘Light Up Christmas for Children’ campaign.
Luciana Magliocco, Head of Consumer Marketing at New West End Company, the organisers of the event, says: “Christmas is always a special time on Oxford Street, and tonight’s Switch On was the perfect way to welcome in the festive season, with the help of global megastar Rita Ora and our partners at the NSPCC. We were delighted to see shoppers out in force to celebrate the start of Oxford Street’s busiest period in the calendar – let the countdown to Christmas officially begin!
“Figures from New West End Company’s annual Christmas tracker report predict average takings of £51.1 million per day – an expected £5.1 million spend per hour during the peak period.”
Rita Ora commented on the night: “It’s such an honour to have switched on Oxford Street’s Christmas Lights; growing up in London, they have always been a special part of my festive celebrations. I wish everyone a very happy Christmas!”
Matt Terry added: “The atmosphere tonight on Oxford Street was amazing. It was a thrill to perform at such an iconic event, and great to see so many people ready to celebrate the start of Christmas in the capital!”
5 After Midnight said: “We were really excited to be involved with tonight’s Switch On, and had a fantastic time performing for the crowds on Oxford Street. London’s party season has well and truly started – we hope everyone has fun in the countdown to Christmas!”
Capital Breakfast’s Roman Kemp said: “Tonight we celebrated the start of the city’s Christmas festivities with thousands of Londoners. The atmosphere on Oxford Street was incredible and Vick and I had so much fun hosting the Christmas Lights Switch On event.”
NSPCC to add quote from Peter Wanless, CEO: “Tonight’s switch-on has been a fantastic way to celebrate the start of our Light up Christmas for Children campaign which will be raising vital funds for Childline’s 24/7 counselling service. With our partners Sky Cinema we are asking the public to help us be there for every child who needs us.”
The Switch On marks the start of an exciting Christmas campaign for Oxford Street – Christmas in the bag. Over the course of the next six weeks, Oxford Street and its retailers will deliver a series of seasonally themed in-store activations and unrivalled shopping experiences to make the festive period even more special. Eager shoppers can find everything they need for the run-up to Christmas – from partywear and pampering to interiors, decorations, gifts and much more!