THOUSANDS of people of all ages turned out for the switch-on of Huddersfield town centre’s Christmas Lights.
Parents, children and Star Trek fans filled Huddersfield Piazza last night to see film star and Huddersfield University chancellor Patrick Stewart turn on the town’s new £100,000 festive decorations.
The entertainment began with Denon James, young winner of the Forget Me Not Trust’s charity talent competition, ‘The Forget Me Not Factor’.
Denon, of Leeds Road, wowed crowds with his dancing skills before operatic duo La Musica took to the stage.
La Musica performed a mix of songs from musicals and opera including a version of Leonard Cohen’s ‘Hallelujah’ in English and Spanish, which equally amused and bemused the audience.
Next up were Huddersfield Giants Kevin Brown and Leroy Cudjoe, who played the game higher and lower with a pair of young contestants.
Tom Milner, who plays student Paul Langley in the BBC1 school drama Waterloo Road, followed.
Tom, of Northowram, Halifax, sang three songs: Robbie Williams’ ‘Better Man’, Shane Ward’s ‘That’s My Goal’ and Jerry Jeff Walker’s ‘Mr Bojangles’ – and the crowd joined in.
But the main attraction of the night was Mirfield-born film star Patrick Stewart, who with the other entertainers, pressed a plunger to switch on Huddersfield’s Christmas lights.Related content
Patrick, the star of Star Trek and X-Men, spoke of his local roots and how he was proud of the town and its university.
Mr Stewart said: “I have many reasons to love Huddersfield.
“You understand on the Starship Enterprise we didn’t have any plungers – it was all voice activated!
“This is fantastic for me. This is one of the grandest experiences ever. Last month I celebrated 50 years as a professional and in those 50 years I’ve done lots of things.
“I’ve fought single-handed combat with unnumbered aliens. I can read the minds of mutants all over the world.
“I’ve performed in Carnegie Hall, Windsor Castle and the Hollywood Bowl, but I have never before turned on any Christmas lights anywhere, except now in Huddersfield.
“This town does mean a great deal to me. It was in Huddersfield where I saw my very first live theatrical performance. The warmest memories of Huddersfield are mine.
“I’m chancellor of the university and I have been for the past six years and I’ve just signed on for another five years as chancellor.
“I’ve spent the whole week on campus attending degree ceremonies.
“I have to tell you this university is as well-equipped and as well-staffed as perhaps any university in the country.
“Here in Huddersfield you have an educational institution that is already ranking as high as some of the oldest and most famous and well-established universities in the country.”Related content