Christmas lights bring towns alive

Herald Series: Coronation Street actors Ryan Thomas and Jack P Shepherd with officials in Banbury at the Christmas lights party Coronation Street actors Ryan Thomas and Jack P Shepherd with officials in Banbury at the Christmas lights party

HUNDREDS of people turned out in Banbury and Woodstock to see the towns lit up for the festive season.

Coronation Street stars Ryan Thomas and Jack Shepherd, who play Jason Grimshaw and David Platt, switched on the Banbury lights yesterday. Entertainment was provided by Robbie Williams tribute act, Paul Reason, who performed the singer’s hit singles.

Banbury resident Melanie Andrews, 13, attended the event with her sister, Millie, seven, and her best friend Rebecca Watt, 13.

She said: “You only get to see famous people in Banbury once a year, so it was good to meet them. They spoke to us.”

Meanwhile, Woodstock’s Night of a Thousand Candles event took place on Saturday and featured Christmas carols sung by the town’s schoolchildren, roasted chestnuts and mulled wine.

The lights were switched on by Nancy Dell’Olio, the ex-girlfriend of former England manager Sven-Göran Eriksson and contestant in reality TV show Strictly Come Dancing last year.

Woodstock mayor Brian Yoxall said she had been staying in Woodstock and was asked whether she would switch on the lights.

Mr Yoxall said: “It went very well. There was a good crowd in the square and everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves, despite the weather. The lights were magical and have brought an almost Dickensian atmosphere to the town.”

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