Video: Sparkling reception for Leeds Christmas lights switch-on

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Sporting heroes and singing stars spread festive cheer across Leeds when they turned out for the annual Christmas lights switch-on.

An estimated 15,000 people defied the rain to pack into Victoria Gardens to see Leeds Rhinos legend Danny McGuire take the honours and illuminate the city centre.

Leeds Rhinos star Danny McGuire on stage with the Grand Final trophy at the Leeds Christmas lights.' PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe

Leeds Rhinos star Danny McGuire on stage with the Grand Final trophy at the Leeds Christmas lights.' PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe

Danny, who was man of the match when the club triumphed at Old Trafford last month to secure an historic treble, said: “It was a great honour to switch on the Christmas lights and it’s capped off an incredible year for myself and the club.

“Helping to kickstart the countdown to Christmas is also the perfect way for us to show how grateful we are to the people of Leeds for the amazing support they’ve given us this season.”

Fellow Rhinos players Stevie Ward and Josh Walters accompanied him on stage with the club’s three trophies.

Britain’s Got Talent 2014 winners Collabro and Leeds’ X Factor star Bupsi Brown kept the crowds dancing with their performances of classic Christmas hits.

Leeds Rhinos star Danny McGuire switches on the Leeds Christmas lights. 12th November 2015.

Leeds Rhinos star Danny McGuire switches on the Leeds Christmas lights. 12th November 2015.

Collabro’s Richard Hadfield said: “It’s been a fantastic night with such a brilliant atmosphere and we’ve really enjoyed entertaining the crowd and helping all these people get in the Christmas spirit.”

Cbeebies presenters Alex Winters and Cat Sandion were also part of the line-up to lead the audience in a version of the 12 Days of Christmas. Lee Brennan from boyband 911, who is playing the title role in this year’s production of Aladdin at Carriageworks Theatre, also appeared at the event.

The Leeds Rock Choir performed hits and a Christmas medley which included original vocal arrangements.

And the cast of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, running at West Yorkshire Playhouse, took to the stage alongside Breeze has Talent 2015 winners The Richards.

Collabro perform on stage. PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe

Collabro perform on stage. PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe

Dixie and Emma from Heart’s breakfast show hosted the event.

Leader of Leeds City Council Judith Blake said: “It’s been a wonderful evening with some terrific guests and I think the crowd really go into the spirit of it and enjoyed themselves.

“Seeing all these people coming together here tonight and joining in with the songs has been a fabulous start to the festive season.

“It was particularly special for us to be able to pay tribute to Danny McGuire and the Rhinos, whose accomplishments this season have been one of the highlights of the year and something the whole city can be proud of.”

Lee Brennan from 911 performs on stage.' PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe

Lee Brennan from 911 performs on stage.' PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe

Bupsi from the X Factor performs on stage. PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe

Bupsi from the X Factor performs on stage. PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe

Leeds Rock Choir perform on stage.' PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe

Leeds Rock Choir perform on stage.' PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe

Cbeebies presenter Alex Winters joins Father Christmas on stage.' PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe

Cbeebies presenter Alex Winters joins Father Christmas on stage.' PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe

PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe

PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe

PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe

PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe

PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe

PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe

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