Manchester Christmas lights switch on

  • Manchester's Christmas lights were switched on over the weekend
  • Local Manchester celebrities and artists were there for the big event

By Freya Penson & Meliza Sestito

Thousands of people got their umbrellas and gloves at the ready to welcome the seven weeks countdown to Christmas. In true Manchester fashion, the rain didn’t stop anyone singing and dancing last night for the Christmas lights being switched on in Albert Square.

Umbrellas at christmas lights
Revellers braving the rain to watch the lights switch on


X Factor winner Louisa Johnson was the star of the evening and headlined the festive event.

X-Factor's Louisa Johnson
Louisa Johnson


Well known show host and comedian, Paddy McGuiness was among the star-lit list of celebrities there who gathered there too.

Singer, JP Cooper played his latest single September Song and his collaboration he did with Jonas Blue that has made it to number six in the charts earlier this year. He revealed to Northern Quota that he has a favourite song to perform live but it isn’t a song that he has yet released – and to keep an eye open for it.

JP Cooper
JP Cooper before his performance


Cold Feet actor, John Thompson and the cast of Billy Elliot also attended the show, which ended a dramatic firework display from the top of the Town Hall.

Rising girl group M.O attended too, they said their aim for the night was to “keep everyone happy despite the fact it’s raining outside.” They also joked about how “they’re all dressed in white today because they’re being Christmas angels.”

Coronation Street’s Brooke Vincent and Key 103’s Mike Toolan also attended and kept spirits high and the crowd laughing.

John Thompson said how excited he is to be playing his role in Aladdin this year – and also revealed that there will be another series of his ITV Drama, Cold Feet.

Not only were the performers excited to be there but the thousands of people waiting in the crowd. A little rain never hurt anyone and especially not last night.

Janie, 43, of Manchester said “We don’t care if it’s raining or not, we’re still gonna come out here and see all the lights being switched on. The kids love it, we love it.”

Another family who were watching the event said, laughing, “It’s just classic Manchester, isn’t it. Has to rain tonight!”

The night ended in tradition with the memorable firework display and the giant Santa and his 100,000 bulbs being lit up. The display was played in time with Sia’s latest hit, Alive, and, as it is every year, amazing!"

David, 18, who attended with his girlfriend Victoria, 18, both students, said, “It starts to feel like Christmas when the big Santa is switched on, doesn’t it? It’s a huge reminder that I need to start buying some Christmas presents already.”

After the evening sadly ended until next year, the councilor, Pat Karney said:
“Santa says 20,000 thank you’s for braving the terrible weather tonight – but we make our own sunshine as everyone knows.”

“I loved the fire works. Of course, you can see our fireworks from space – we’ve had messages from other planets to confirm it.”

If you missed any of the acts or events last night then the whole thing was live streamed at manchester.gov.uk/switchonlive