Oxford Street retailers today announced that on Monday 5 November Robbie Williams is to switch on the UK’s most spectacular and iconic Christmas Lights on London’s Oxford Street, hosted by House of Fraser.
The former Take That star, who has sold over 60 million solo albums worldwide, will take to the stage in front of thousands of shoppers eager to be a part of the Christmas celebrations on the world’s most famous high street. In addition to performing some of his hit singles, Robbie will treat shoppers to a live performance of his single, 'Candy' – a Christmas number one contender taken from his new album Take the Crown – released on 5th November.
The Marmite Oxford Street Christmas Lights, which for the first time gives people the chance to appear within the mile long interactive display, will kick start the festive season in style with tens of thousands gathering on Oxford Street for the switch-on of the 300,000 bulbs of light that are hoisted above the street, signalling the start of Christmas in London’s West End.
This year’s switch-on will be a star-studded affair with pop sensation Leona Lewis, and four-piece boy band Lawson, supporting the headline act and treating the crowds to a variety of hits to get the celebrations underway. The catwalk stage, accompanied by two viewing screens will be hosted outside premium British department store House of Fraser and presented by official radio partner Heart 106.2. The proceedings will kick off at 5pm, hosted by Heart presenters Jamie Theakston and Emma Bunton.
For the first time, the Oxford Street Christmas Lights switch-on will be a ticketed event, with a 3,500 capacity golden viewing circle for those lucky enough to secure a place. Those wanting to be a part of this year’s lights switch-on must apply for free tickets from Monday, via the Heart 106.2 website - heart.co.uk
Robbie Williams says: "Oxford Street is a fantastic place to do your Christmas shopping and it's great to be part of the celebrations. I can't believe I am turning on the lights! 'Take the Crown' is released on the same day - 5th November - and I'm looking forward to performing for the amazing crowds on London's Oxford Street."
Jace Tyrrell of New West End Company, organisers of the event, says: “The prestigious Oxford Street lights truly are a spectacular sight, and this year is no exception as we prepare to unveil a dazzling event. Enjoyed by visitors from all around the world, I am sure the impressive display of lights will form the perfect backdrop for all those descending on the West End to start their Christmas shopping.”
Joanne O’Riada from Marmite comments: “Marmite is proud to be sponsoring this year’s Oxford Street Christmas lights. 2012 has certainly been a great year for Britain – from the Queen’s Jubilee to unprecedented sporting achievements – so what better way to top it all off than adding a Marmite touch to this year’s Oxford Street Christmas lights and giving people the chance to star within the mile long illuminations.”
Nigel Oddy, Executive Director Group Merchandising & Planning at House of Fraser says: “House of Fraser is thrilled to be hosting the switch on of the Marmite Oxford Street Lights. As one of London’s most popular events in the run-up to Christmas, this is guaranteed to be a fantastic occasion and we are extremely proud to have it taking place outside our store this November.”
Cllr Robert Davis, deputy leader of Westminster City Council, said: “The Oxford Street Christmas lights are a British institution, and Westminster City Council is delighted to support this unique and popular event. We hope it triggers the start of yet another festive season of success for retailers and businesses across the West End of London.”
The annual Oxford Street Christmas lights scheme, now in its 53rd year, is funded by Oxford Street retailers. The world renowned lights have been switched on by a variety of stars since its inception in 1959, including the Spice Girls, Westlife and The Saturdays.
Similar to all lights in the West End, the mile long scheme suspended over Oxford Street remains fully committed to protecting the environment, with LED bulbs installed, using 75% less energy than conventional bulbs. This year’s scheme was designed and installed by Piggotts, a British company that has been providing innovative street decorations to the West End since the 1950’s.