Joe lights up our lives at the big turn on

The Chronicle - - News - By BAR­BARA HODG­SON Re­porter bar­bara.hodg­son@trin­i­tymir­

CROWD pleaser Joe McElderry proved to be a right turn on last night as he pulled the switch for New­cas­tle’s Christ­mas lights.

The X Fac­tor star and South Shields favourite whipped up some fes­tive spirit be­fore he pressed the but­ton which il­lu­mi­nated around 20,000 twin­kling lights.

He took to the stage at the Mon­u­ment where around 5,000 peo­ple had gath­ered to watch the an­nual treat.

And the singer, who will be star­ring in Joseph and the Amaz­ing Tech­ni­colour Dream­coat at Metro Ra­dio Arena over Christ­mas, wore the coat of many colours over his suit to belt out hits from the show be­fore ditch­ing it to de­liver some Christ­mas songs.

Fans in the crowd, which stretched from Grainger Street to the Mon­u­ment, sang along and cheered when he fi­nally flicked the switch and a canopy of lights sparkled over­head, with dec­o­ra­tions in the nearby streets fol­low­ing suit.

Ex­cite­ment had started to build an hour ahead of the switch-on with on-stage en­ter­tain­ment, hosted by Metro Ra­dio break­fast pre­sen­ters Steve and Karen, get­ting un­der­way at 5.30pm.

Among those wait­ing to hear Joe were mother and daugh­ter Lor­raine and Georgia Ding­wall who had trav­elled in from Durham es­pe­cially to see the singer, ar­riv­ing at 1.30pm to bag a good spot.

Lor­raine said: “We’ve never been to watch New­cas­tle’s lights be­fore but we came to see Joe McElderry. My 17-year-old daugh­ter is a huge fan.”

This year’s Christ­mas lights event teamed up with NSPCC (The Na­tional So­ci­ety for the Pre­ven­tion of Cru­elty to Chil­dren).

Please help Child­line be there for ev­ery young per­son who des­per­ately needs sup­port.

Do­nate £4 by tex­ting ‘NSPCC 4’ to 70755 or vis­it­ing­i­cle – texts costs in­clude your do­na­tion of £4 plus your stan­dard net­work rate.

The NSPCC will re­ceive 100% of your do­na­tion.

Scenes from last night’s big turn on in New­cas­tle

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