Plymouth is in search of a well-deserving local person to switch on this year’s City Centre Christmas lights after X Factor star Sam Bailey has had to pull out of the event due to contract commitments. Sam stepped in after Coronation Street star and singer, Shayne Ward announced he was unavailable to attend last week.
“We’re naturally disappointed that neither Shayne nor Sam can join us on Thursday” said Jon Walton, Plymouth City Centre Manager, “but it certainly won’t jeopardise the Christmas Lights switch on. Ultimately this is an event for Plymouth people and we intend to celebrate it as such by collaborating with the Herald to find our own local ‘celebrity’ who can flick the switch alongside the Lord Mayor and Plymouth Argyle Manager, Derek Adams.
We’d like Plymouth to nominate local people they feel should be recognised for their work in the community and vote for which one of them might switch the lights on for us this year.” Councillor Glenn Jordan, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Culture, said: “It’s a real shame Sam has been forced to pull out of the switch-on but this is a fantastic opportunity for one of our own local heroes to get their moment in the spotlight. It’s always a brilliant event and whoever is chosen they will be guaranteed a very warm welcome from the crowd as they help to launch Plymouth’s Christmas celebrations for this year.”
Submit your local hero nominations here. The winner will be announced on Wednesday 16 November.
The Christmas holiday calendar officially kicks off on 17 November when the city's beautiful illuminations are turned on.
The hotly-anticipated annual event – launches the Christmas countdown and marks the start of Thursday night late night shopping for all those hunting for the perfect gifts.
From 4pm there will be a host of entertainment for the whole family, centred on a large stage being erected in the city centre Piazza, complete with confetti cannons fired the moment the lights go on.
Performances by youngsters from the Pauline Quirke Academy, the Plymouth Performing Arts Academy and local rock band Rockafella will be taking to the Piazza.
And children will be able to meet some of their favourite Disney characters, including Cinderella, Belle, the Little Mermaid and Sleeping Beauty, as well as superheroes Spider-Man, Captain America and Bumble Bee.
4:00pm - Widewell Primary School
4.17pm - Compton Primary School
4.40pm - Pauline Quirke Academy
5.00pm - Razzamataz Theatre School
5.22pm - Nutcracker brief
5.25pm - Plymouth Performing Arts Academy
5.45pm - Heart Magical Xmas Bus Guests
5.48pm - Party Princesses and Superheroes Show
6:12pm - Lord Mayor of Plymouth welcomes Guest Derek Adams
6:19pm - Bailey Nelson – singing a Christmas song
6:23pm - ITV/Heart chat with the Herald Competition winner Switch-On guest
6:25pm - Xmas Lights go on
6:27pm - Confetti cannons fired. Bailey Nelson – sings two songs
6:40pm - Rockafella – rock band
7:40pm Stage programme ends
All above acts and timings are subject to change
Plymouth Performing Arts Academy (PPAA) – is Plymouth’s exciting, new Performing Arts school for young people ages 4-23 years, run by West-End professionals. The PPAA performers will be singing a medley of Musical Theatre songs from your favourite shows - including ‘Matilda’, ’Sweet Charity’, ‘Oliver’ and ‘Whistle Down the Wind
Pauline Quirke Academy - The pupils from Plymouth’s PQA will be taking to the stage to perform a selection of traditional Christmas carols and modern Christmas songs. The performers will be between 6-17 years.
Razzamataz Theatre School - performing arts tuition for children ages 4 to 18 which includes musical theatre, commercial and authentic street dance by professionals The children will be singing Christmas songs as well as songs from Matilda and High School Musical.
Rockafella –the band are an energetic four-piece rock covers band from Plymouth playing modern classics, forgotten gems, and a few special twists on the unexpected.
Bailey Nelson – young singer songwriter from St Budeaux will be singing and playing guitar.