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Manchester shows why it’s the UK’s capital of Christmas following huge light switch-on show!

Manchester Christmas
Manchester council start their countdown to Christmas with their Christmas light switch on 2016. Pictured Billy Elliot All guests listed: Louisa Johnson (X factor winner) JP Cooper M.O (Modus Operandi) John Thomson Billy Elliot District 12 (boy band) Dancehouse Academy Comperes: Key 103’s Mike Toolan and Corrie’s Brooke Vincent and Paddy McGuinness.

Thousands of people flocked to Manchester city centre for the annual Christmas Lights Switch-On, marking the start of the festive season in the UK’s Christmas capital.

The Manchester Christmas Light Switch-on, in association with Key 103, has become the beginning of Christmas for generations of Manchester people, and this year was no exception.

The city centre squares became Britain’s biggest pop venue for the night as thousands of people watched the spectacular show live in Albert Square and via live web streams beamed across the globe.

International star Sigala became the first DJ to headline the Christmas Lights Switch-on and his thumping set got the crowd moving and shaking in Albert Square.

Pixie Lott showed her pop star credentials as one of the biggest acts of the last decade, wowing the crowd with her incredible voice and stage show.

Up and coming boy band YES LAD showed why they are tipped to be the next big thing, bringing talent and attitude in equal measure.

The stars of the Manchester’s stage shows ELF: The Musical at the Lowry, Shrek at the Palace Theatre, and Guys and Dolls playing at the Exchange Theatre, gave the crowds something to dance about, previewing their huge productions that will be playing throughout the festive season.

Opening the show was the cast of Little Women – who will take their show to the award winning Hope Mill Theatre – and the incredible moves of the Dancehouse Academy showing of the amazing moves of Street Dance.

Key 103’s breakfast hosts Mike Toolan and Matt Haslam compered the show with help of Corrie’s Brooke Vincent!

The event concluded with a 10 minute fireworks spectacular.

Manchester’s biggest red resident – the iconic Giant Santa – was also turned on for the first time. Follow him on twitter @McrSanta for his individual

Cllr Pat Karney, Manchester Christmas spokesperson, said: “Tonight’s show was a remarkable start to Christmas in Manchester and it’s no wonder we remain Santa’s favourite city.

“All of the acts wowed the huge crowds and it was surely one of the best shows we’ve ever had. From the headliners Sigala and Pixie to the stars of Manchester’s stage shows, every single one was world class.

“As always a huge thank you to everyone who came out to celebrate with us tonight, the atmosphere was incredible. One for the history books.”

Cllr Luthfur Rahman, Manchester City Council’s executive member for schools, culture and leisure, said: “But of course this is only the beginning as Manchester will be transformed next week when the world-famous, award-winning Christmas Markets return next Friday!”

Manchester’s award winning Christmas Markets will open officially to the public next week on Friday, 10 November spreading across 10 sites in the city centre with more than 300 stalls.

Stay up to date and join the conversation with #MCRCHRISTMAS


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Andy Mann
After 34 years working in numerous operational and communications disciplines for three FTSE companies (Yorkshire Electricity; Meggitt and BAE Systems), at over a dozen locations, on 24 November 2016, I became the inaugural editor of Business Manchester. Business Manchester is a good news, Manchester focused, business website and daily newsletter. Over the years, I have written hundreds of press releases, features for trade magazines, copy for websites and brochures, edited in-house magazines and newsletters, as well as presenting a radio programme on Chorley FM. This experience has given me the ideal background for editing Business Manchester.