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Hampstead and Highgate gear up for an action packed weekend of Christmas festivals

PUBLISHED: 11:11 21 November 2014

Hampstead and Highgate villages are both holding their annual Christmas festivals this weekend. Picture: Polly Hancock

Hampstead and Highgate villages are both holding their annual Christmas festivals this weekend. Picture: Polly Hancock

Archant

Chat show host Jonathan Ross has called on the community to come out in force and join “by far the best and most fun way to start Christmas” this weekend.

Jonathan Ross and David Badiel switching on the Hampstead Christmas lights in 2010Jonathan Ross and David Badiel switching on the Hampstead Christmas lights in 2010

The TV presenter has the joint honour of switching on the lights alongside EastEnders star Barbara Windsor at this year’s Hampstead Christmas Festival on Sunday.

Not to be outdone, Highgate has also announced an all-star line-up as Lord of the Rings actor Andy Serkis, his wife the actress Lorraine Ashbourne, and former East Ender Cliff Parisi are due to turn on the lights at Highgate Christmas Festival on Saturday.

Hampstead Garden Suburb resident Mr Ross encouraged crowds to turn out in force, saying: “ I am thrilled to be turning on the Christmas lights in Hampstead once again. The event has gone from strength to strength and is now by far the best and most fun way to start your Christmas celebrations.”

His excitement was shared by former Carry On star Ms Windsor, who said: “I am thrilled to be turning on the lights.

Lord of the Rings actor Andy Serkis is among the star line-up switching on the Christmas lights in HighgateLord of the Rings actor Andy Serkis is among the star line-up switching on the Christmas lights in Highgate

“I am sure that it will be a fantastic and fun afternoon for all the family and I hope to see you all there”. 
Both festivals promise a winter wonderland of entertainment and all for good causes.

Hampstead High Street will be traffic-free for the day and the street will be packed with stalls and attractions for all the family, including fairground rides, live reindeer, an animal petting zoo, Punch & Judy shows, fire eaters and live music.

International opera star and former model and beauty queen Angel Blue, who is currently starring in La Boheme with the English National Opera, will also make a special appearance at the lights switch-on ceremony.

Susan Brandt, chair of the Hampstead Christmas Festival Committee, said: “Jonathan, Barbara and Angel will well and truly light up Hampstead and add their special sparkle to what is set to be a fantastic day.”

Highgate’s Christmas Festival promises to be the biggest yet as residents in their thousands flock to the village.

Channing School choir Chacapella will open the festival, which is hosted by TV presenter and radio DJ Alex Zane.

There will be street stalls, fairy makeovers, live reindeers and three wise men and their camel Gizzy touring Pond Square.

Lead organiser Chris Underhill, of Prickett and Ellis Underhill estate agents, said: “It’s about drawing in a big community crowd, having a whale of a time, and raising money for good causes as well.”

* For more information on the Hampstead Christmas Festival, visit hampsteadvillagelondon.com/christmas/


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