11,000 at lights switch-on

Soul singer Beverley Knight, middle left, switches on Preston's Christmas lights on Saturday night
Soul singer Beverley Knight, middle left, switches on Preston's Christmas lights on Saturday night
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A CROWD of 11,000 turned out for Preston’s annual Christmas lights switch-on on Saturday night.

The event saw soul star Beverley Knight flick the switch after performing a number of stage and then dashing off to get to her dressing room at the neighbouring Guild Hall where she has a concert.

She tweeted on social networking website Twitter: “Ran back to my dressing room because I have people who are waiting for meets and greets! So sorry I couldn’t stop for anyone. :-( xxxxx.”

On stage she told the crowd on the city’s Flag Market how she had just released an album “celebrating British soul music” and admitted she was not ready for Christmas.

She said: “I am not ready for Christmas at all, I have not bought a present and not sorted my tree or anything.”

Chorley-born X-Factor finalist Jon Jo Kerr, soap actor-turned-singer Sam Clarke, who played Ringo in Australian show Neighbours, and Helen Flanagan and Ryan Thomas, who play Rosie Webster and Jason Grimshaw on hit soap, Coronation Street, were also among the acts.

Helen, 21, told the crowd about her exit from the soap next year, she said: “It is really funny, she (Rosie) is a model as well, so maybe it has something to do with that.”

For pictures and a full report on the switch-on, see Monday’s Evening Post.