Emotional day at Morecambe Christmas Switch-On

Jack P Shepherd switches on the Morecambe Christmas Lights
Jack P Shepherd switches on the Morecambe Christmas Lights

There wasn’t a dry eye in New Town Square at a hugely emotional Morecambe Christmas Lights Switch-On.

Crowds packed into the area outside the Arndale to see the town’s first major outdoor festive switch-on in many a year - headlined by Coronation Street star Jack P Shepherd (David Platt).

Stuart Michaels and crowd at the Morecambe Christmas Lights Switch-on

Stuart Michaels and crowd at the Morecambe Christmas Lights Switch-on

With compere Danny Matthews from The Bay directing proceedings, Jack pulled the switch with Father Christmas and on came the lights in New Town Square, including on the returning Christmas tree.

“I’ve just officially started Christmas in Morecambe,” said Jack afterwards.

“I’ve never been to Morecambe before. It’s cold!”

When asked if he knew that his screen mum Gail (Helen Worth) grew up in Morecambe, Jack said: “She did tell me that actually. I’ll tell her I’ve been.

Danny Matthews of Bay Radio and Jack P Shepherd at the switch-on of the Morecambe Christmas Lights

Danny Matthews of Bay Radio and Jack P Shepherd at the switch-on of the Morecambe Christmas Lights

“I wanted some fish and chips, apparently they’re very nice.”

In a hugely emotional moment, singer Stuart Michaels performed ‘Champagne Supernova’ by Oasis for his friend, the late Heysham musician Dominic Clayton.

Dominic, who died on November 12 aged 34, was due to perform the song at Saturday’s event.

Stuart broke down in tears and many of the audience were crying too as he was joined on stage by Dominic’s young daughters, Natasha and Idalita.

Vicky Hart and Yasmin Davidson from Morecambe enjoy the Morecambe Christmas Lights concert

Vicky Hart and Yasmin Davidson from Morecambe enjoy the Morecambe Christmas Lights concert

Earlier, the packed crowd in New Town Square waved lighters and mobile phone lights in the air at the debut airing of a charity cover version of REM hit ‘Everybody Hurts’.

The song has been recorded by local musicians to raise money for Team Reece, a charity set up by 11-year-old Reece Holt from Overton and his family. Reece is battling brain cancer.

Stuart Michaels, Reece and his mum Rachel, and other performers on the track led the crowd in a singalong as cameras filmed them for the music video, to be released before Christmas.

Proceeds from CD sales will go to Team Reece and Dom Clayton’s family.

Flying the flag for Morecambe at the Christmas Lights Switch-on

Flying the flag for Morecambe at the Christmas Lights Switch-on

Other performers on the day were the Baybeat Band, Alpha Omega Wrestling, Melanie Horabin, Jason Stardust, Ukulele Jukebox and Amber Suns.

The wrestlers caused a stir with a tug o’war to entertain the crowd and then burly 25 stone Cyanide slammed the Alpha Omega Champion, the villainous King Ryan Grayson, through a table!

The event was organised by Morecambe Business Improvement District (BID).

Reece Holt and his mum Rachel at the Morecambe Christmas Lights Switch On. Photo by Mike Jackson.

Reece Holt and his mum Rachel at the Morecambe Christmas Lights Switch On. Photo by Mike Jackson.

Ukelele Jukebox entertain the crowds at the Morecambe Christmas Lights Switch-on

Ukelele Jukebox entertain the crowds at the Morecambe Christmas Lights Switch-on

Melanie sings at the Morecambe Christmas Lights Switch-on

Melanie sings at the Morecambe Christmas Lights Switch-on

Jason Stardust performing at the Morecambe Christmas Lights Switch-on

Jason Stardust performing at the Morecambe Christmas Lights Switch-on