Manchester City Council has confirmed that the Christmas lights in the city centre are to finally be switched on by NHS keyworkers tomorrow.
As England’s second national lockdown comes to an end this week and the country returns to the regional tiered system, Manchester is still set to welcome the festive season with a little help from NHS and social care heroes across the region.
The annual Christmas Light Switch-on event is usually one of the biggest parties of the year, attracting thousands of people into the city to start the season with a bang.
But of course, the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has meant the usual celebrations had to be cancelled this year, so three NHS heroes will have the honour of pushing the button on this year’s lights instead.
They will also be joined by some of Manchester’s frontline health and social care workers.
The small and socially-distanced event will take place at Manchester Cathedral on Wednesday 2nd December at 6.45pm, and will be live on BBC Radio Manchester, BBC North West Tonight and live streamed on social media for people to enjoy safely from home.
Interviews with the NHS staff chosen to switch on this year’s lights will also appear on BBC Breakfast and on social media.
Manchester’s 12-metre high, selfie-loving Santa – which returned for the second year to St Peter’s Square this week – will be joined once again by a trail of large-scale light sculptures across the city in Piccadilly Gardens, St Peter’s Square, and New Cathedral Street.
There will also be the traditional crib in St Ann’s Square, and a Christmas tree by the Cathedral.
Speaking on this year’s special, socially-distanced switch-on, Cllr Pat Karney – Christmas spokesperson for Manchester City Council – said: “Christmas will finally arrive in Manchester this week after a slightly longer wait than usual.
“Although the festive season will feel a bit different this year, we still can’t wait to push the button on our Christmas lights with the help of our NHS and social care heroes.
“The Christmas Lights switch-on has always marked the start of Christmas in Manchester and this year will be more important than ever. Christmas is a really important time for the city’s businesses and we will be doing everything we can to ensure people can visit the city centre safely and give businesses the support they need.”
You can find more information via the Manchester City Council website here.
Kirstie Allsopp threw a banana skin at a driver in Stockport in littering row
TV personality Kirstie Allsopp has admitted that she threw a banana skin at a driver in Stockport after she caught them littering.
In a furious rant on Twitter, the Location, Location, Location star said that she ‘leapt out of the car’ in order to pick up the fruity peel that was thrown out of another car window.
She then lobbed it straight back into the car, at the littering offender.
Saying that she’s been ‘horrified’ by the state of litter across the UK, Kirstie detailed the incident from her visit to Stockport.
Kirstie said: “In the last few weeks, travelling around the UK, I’ve been horrified by how bad roadside litter has become. Why is litter so much worse, who thinks chucking an empty red bull, for example, out of a moving car is acceptable?
“Last week in Stockport a banana skin flew out of the window of the car in front, we were at [traffic lights] and I was a passenger so I leapt out of the car, picked it up and threw it back into the car, the driver just threw it back out again.
“But that’s not how to solve the problem. What is the solution…… £££ fines? In some places police take litter very seriously, I don’t feel that in the UK though. Closing roads to clear the litter? This would inconvenience us all, but would be a reminder of the cost of litter. Asking roadside landowners to clear their patch? What do you think?”
She later added: “I have a pet theory on this, I think a lot of litter is guilty eating, people consuming things they know they shouldn’t, and not wanting to dispose of the evidence at home.”
One fan replied to her: “Ohh you have been to my neck of the woods i have wrote to Stockport Council several times about cleaning all this litter up and there answer was ‘yes we are rotared to do a clear up in May’, i said ‘how about every month’, they replied ‘we do a clear up once a year only’. I just laughed.”
Yes, it’s true – in what is news that admittedly sounds fake, but somehow actually isn’t, one of the best rappers of all time has revealed himself to be an avid watcher of Britain’s longest-running soap, and is such a fan of it, in fact, that he said he’s “determined” to make an appearance on it sometime in the future.
The iconic ITV soap – which is set in the fictional Manchester suburb of Weatherfield, and celebrated an impressive 60 years of entertaining the masses back in 2020 – currently averages around six million viewers per episode, and has developed a well-deserved legion of loyal fans over the last six decades.
And it turns out, one of those loyal fans is chart-topping rap superstar Snoop Dogg.
“Coronation Street, I love it,” the 17-time Grammy Award nominee admitted.
“If they call me I’ll do it. I’ll play whenever they need. I love the cinematography, acting, the storylines and just the reality.
“I’d like to be a part of it because they’ve been a part of my culture.”
As bizarre as it all sounds, this surprisingly isn’t the first time the rapper – whose real name is Calvin Broadus Jr – has publicly revealed he’s a fan of the soap, and even famously admitted all the way back in 2010 that he had his agent get in touch with ITV to see if there was any chance he could make an appearance.
“I had my agent reach out to them to see if they could try to get me on and they said they were interested so hopefully it might happen,” Snoop told the BBC.
“It would be perfect for me to be on the show.”
The Drop It Like It’s Hot and The Next Episode rapper isn’t the only famous name who’s revealed himself to be a fan of Coronation Street in recent months.
One of the greatest and most well-respected singer songwriters of all time, Bob Dylan, also admitted in an interview with WSJ back in December 2022 that he loves binge-watching the soap.