Gallery: Hampstead ‘fights back’ as Jonathan Ross, Barbara Windsor and Dynamo lend star power to Christmas festival
- Credit: Archant
TV magician Dynamo made a surprise appearance as part of an “unbeatable” celeb line-up at the Hampstead Christmas Festival.
The conjurer, who recently moved to Hampstead Village, joined presenter Jonathan Ross, actress Barbara Windsor and US opera singer Angel Blue at Sunday’s festive fair.
The quartet turned on the lights shortly after 5pm to cap off a fun-packed day which saw traffic on Hampstead High Street make way for Santa’s grotto, reindeer, fairground rides, stalls, live music and a charity dog show.
Dynamo, who dazzled the crowds by performing card tricks with Ms Windsor, was a last-minute addition after being collared in the street by the festival’s organisers the night before.
They spotted him in Hampstead and approached with the words: “What are you doing tomorrow?”
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Angel Blue, who is appearing in Puccini’s La Bohème at the Coliseum, performed two numbers before leading the crowds in a sing-a-long on the main stage.
Earlier, TV star Mr Ross, who lives in Hampstead Garden Suburb, helped judge the festival’s first dog competition, which raised money for Highgate dog rescue charity All Dogs Matter.
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There were also performances from young members of Chickenshed Theatre Company, of which Ms Windsor is a supporter. The inclusive theatre company was this year’s chosen charity.
Organisers thanked the thousands who turned out despite heavy rain throughout the day.
Caroline Williams, one of the organisers, said the weather only lifted when Dynamo arrived.
“There’s definitely a bit of magic about Christmas where he’s concerned,” she said, adding: “Hampstead is bigger than the weather; it definitely drew people from outside the area to see how fantastic Hampstead is.”
Fellow organising committee member Alexandra Lavery said: “Every element was really excellent, except of course the major one, which was the weather. I’ve never been so wet in my entire life!
“We would certainly like to say ‘thank you’ to everybody who did bother to come.
“The village looked extremely attractive, we had it very nicely laid out, and it was really lovely to be able to support Chickenshed and All Dogs Matter.
“The dog show was a great success, Jonathan Ross came down specially early and really jollied it up enormously.
“What an all-star cast we had switching on the lights! It was pretty unbeatable I would say.”
Culture Club drummer Jon Moss, who performed with his band Mad Dog Bites, said there was a fantastic atmosphere and it was a case of “Hampstead fights back” against the weather.