Leeds, Leeds Star
The countdown to Christmas is officially underway following the Leeds lights switch-on
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Incredible Leeds Christmas lights switch-on gets city’s festive season underway

Thousands of people gathered on Victoria Gardens in Leeds this evening for the city’s dazzling annual lights switch-on.

Leeds-born triathletes Ali and Jonny Brownlee and Paralympian Kadeena Cox were the special guests of honour with musical performances from girl band Stooshe and X Factor contestant James Wilson.

Also entertaining the crowd were Cbeebies stars Andy Day and Alex Winters, panto favourite Jez Edwards, and Britain’s Got Talent sensations Boogie Storm.

The spectaculr event also featured also live performances from the cast of Strictly Ballroom, who are appearing at West Yorkshire Playhouse, and Breeze has Talent 2016 winner Cole Lawton-Challenger.

Speaking after the event, Councillor Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council said: “Tonight has been an incredible occasion, and we’ve seen thousands of people of all ages come together at the heart of the city centre to get the festive season officially underway.

“It was particularly special to see our Rio heroes Ali and Jonny Brownlee and Kadeena Cox on stage this evening and to hear the amazing reception they received from the crowd.

“These three phenomenal athletes are outstanding ambassadors for Leeds and I hope tonight has once again emphasised the pride and gratitude the city has for the unforgettable sporting memories they gave us this summer.

“With the Christmas lights now illuminating the city centre and some exciting events and activities planned, we can look forward to what I’m sure will be a very memorable festive season in Leeds.”

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