DJ switches on town's festive lights

By Juliette MaxamVETERAN DJ Tony Blackburn has been to the birthplace of radio to switch on the Christmas lights.The DJ transformed the centre of Chelmsford yesterday into a twinkling wonderland, cheered on by hundreds of fans.

By Juliette Maxam

VETERAN DJ Tony Blackburn has been to the birthplace of radio to switch on the Christmas lights.

The DJ transformed the centre of Chelmsford yesterday into a twinkling wonderland, cheered on by hundreds of fans.

Mr Blackburn, who played the first record on Radio 1, has found renewed popularity after being crowned King of the Jungle in ITV's I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here show last year.


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"I think Christmas is fantastic and I'm really excited about turning on the brand-new lights in Chelmsford town centre – it is the place that radio began after all," he said before performing the switch-on ceremony.

Christmas also officially started in Colchester at the weekend as the festive lights around the shopping precincts were switched on amid celebrations.

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The festivities moved around the town on Saturday with lights switched on in High Street, Lion Walk, Head Street and St John's Street, St Botolph's Street and Queen Street, Culver Square, Eld Lane and Sir Isaac's Walk and Crouch Street.

Among the highlights were Cinderella's ugly sisters, from this year's pantomime at the town's Mercury Theatre, switching on the lights in Culver Square.

The Christmas spectacular culminated with a parade of light through Colchester to Castle Park, where the Salvation Army band led carol-singing around a specially-decorated tree.

One of town's best-loved festive traditions was also unveiled this weekend. The Christmas window at the Williams and Griffin store is a firm fixture in any Colchester child's festive season.

This year's animated display was unwrapped by Cinderella and Buttons from the Mercury Theatre pantomime, with the help of schoolchildren.

juliette.maxam@eadt.co.uk

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