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John Cleese to switch on Bath Christmas Lights

PUBLISHED: 13:31 16 November 2011 | UPDATED: 20:18 20 February 2013

John Cleese to switch on Bath Christmas Lights

John Cleese to switch on Bath Christmas Lights

The actor and performer John Cleese is to switch on the Christmas Lights in Bath on Thursday, November 17 at 6.30 pm

John Cleese to switch on Bath Christmas Lights


The actor and performer John Cleese is to switch on the Christmas Lights in Bath on Thursday, November 17 at 6.30 pm. Now living in Bath with his partner Jennifer Wade, Cleese says, Jenny and I love Bath its such a beautiful and interesting city, and were amazed by the range of top-class shops. We are excited and privileged to be turning on the lights.

Cleese and Wade will be pressing the button on stage at the bottom of Milsom Street to illuminate this historic shopping street and mark the official start to the Christmas shopping season in Bath. He follows on the heels of Nicolas Cage and HRH The Duchess of Cornwall who have also pressed the button. Other highlights of the evening programme which commences at 5pm includes an impressive line up of home grown talent. The Song for Bath winner The Golden City by Charlie Groves is to start the evening at 5pm with backing from the Bath Community Gospel Choir. Next on will be X Factor contender, Lascel Wood, who wowed the judges with his recent performance. Born and raised in Bath, he is one of many successful graduates from the City of Bath College where emerging talent is nurtured and developed.

The line up includes Gabrielle Aplin; Tallis Morris; Largo Embargo; Shauna Hutchinson; Laura Doggett and Georgie Vale. Bath favourite, the Stocking Tops will join forces with some of the Bath Rugby Players and Baths most famous choir leader, Grenville Jones will get everyone singing carols. A guest performance by Hugh Cornwell of Stranglers fame will round off the festivities. Bath & North East Somerset Council champion young performers through the Bath Music Plus initiative. Bath Music Plus is working with BA1 records, which is the City of Bath College Music department label, to develop exceptional young musicians.

The switch on ceremony is supported by the Bath Improvement District (BID) and Bath and North East Somerset Council. According to BID Manager Andrew Cooper, Bath is one of the top destinations for gift shopping in the region. We are lucky in Bath to have such a comprehensive range of shops so our visitors can literally find something for everyone, a one stop shop. Switching on the lights traditionally marks the start of the festive season and late night shopping and we are honoured that John Cleese has agreed to perform the ceremony."

Bath has gained a reputation as the Christmas Capital of the West with its high profile celebrity switch on a week before the start of Baths picturesque Christmas Market which operates from November 24 until December 11 2011. With its magical setting next to the Abbey, more than 130 wooden chalets sell a wide choice of unusual and hand crafted gifts. For Christmas shopping there can be few more attractive cities in the country. With its winning combination of independents and high street names, in a World Heritage setting, Bath offers a magical shopping experience.

The Christmas lights, designed like glittering chandeliers pay tribute to Baths glamorous past. Milsom Street was one of Jane Austens favourite haunts and is home to the oldest department store in the country; Jollys and won the Google Street view poll in 2010 as Britains Best Fashion Street.

Watch out for festive surprise appearances by Baths Natural Theatre Company who will be putting on promenade performances in and around Stall Street and Union Street to entertain late night shoppers on Thursday evenings leading up to Christmas from November 17. Expect to bump into gentlemen with twinkling Christmas trees instead of heads, past-theirsell-by-date fairies, hilarious housewife shopaholics, naughty gnomes (and even a couple of nasty old Scrooges to put the damper on things). In an empty shop window you might come across an ordinary chap transforming himself into an extraordinary pantomime dame and back again. The magic of Christmas as only the Naturals can deliver!

The Park and Ride bus service will be operating an extended service for this special occasion and up until Christmas for late night shopping on Thursday evenings and on Sundays.


For further information on shopping in Bath go to www.visitbath.co.uk

Bath Christmas Market, which attracts approximately 300,000 visitors per year, runs from November 24 to December 11. For more information visit: www.bathchristmasmarket.co.uk

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