Call the Midwife star to switch on Capital’s Christmas lights

The switching on of Edinburgh's Christmas lights will take place on 19 November. Picture: Contributed
The switching on of Edinburgh's Christmas lights will take place on 19 November. Picture: Contributed
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SCOTS actress Laura Main will be in charge of switching on this year’s Christmas lights.

Dubbed ‘Light Night’ the event will take place on Sunday 19 November and is expected to attract a bumper crowd to George Street.

Shrek the musical's Laura Main as Princess Fiona. Picture: Chris Gardner

Shrek the musical's Laura Main as Princess Fiona. Picture: Chris Gardner

Laura Main, star of BBC’s Call the Midwife, will be performing on the Light Night stage alongside her Shrek co-star ahead of the opening of the tour of her show Shrek the Musical at the Edinburgh Playhouse.

Host Forth One DJ Arlene Stuart, will be joined on stage by Lord Provost Frank Ross with the free and unticketed event taking place between 3pm and 5pm.

There will also be a variety of amateur choirs and dance groups from across Scotland spread across two stages performing to an estimated 20,000 people.

Laura said: What an honour it is to be turning on Edinburgh’s iconic Christmas Lights. I am thrilled to be spending the festive season back in Scotland along with another resident, Shrek! We’ll be giving you a sneak peak of our show Shrek the Musical, ahead of its run at the Edinburgh Playhouse in December, where I’ll be donning the green dress as Princess Fiona. Light Night is a wonderful way to kick off the Christmas season and I can’t wait to see you all there.”

Charlie Wood and Ed Bartlam, Directors, Edinburgh’s Christmas, said: “Light Night heralds the start of Christmas in Edinburgh, it’s a wonderful family event that always gets everyone, including us, into the Christmas spirit with local music and dance groups, fireworks and, of course, the city centre Christmas lights being switched on. We’re delighted Laura will be pushing the button this year, as well as entertaining the crowds with songs from Shrek the Musical.”

Lord Provost Frank Ross, said: “On stage and on screen, and even on the Strictly dance floor, Laura Main is one of Scotland’s most admired actresses. I am delighted she will return to Edinburgh where she has performed during the Fringe to help us start our winter celebrations. Light Night is the perfect way to bring everyone in the city together to get into the community spirit of Christmas and this year’s switch on will show charity support for the incredible NSPCC. Please give generously if you can.”

Light Night will also feature performances from Little Voices Big Stars, Edinburgh Rock Choir, Edinburgh Ballet and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra Junior Chorus.

The Christmas Tree on the Mound, a gift to the City of Edinburgh Council from Hordaland County Council in Norway, will be lit as part of the Light Night switch-on.

Light Night is partnering with children’s charity NSPCC this year and attendees are urged to look out for NSPCC collectors on the streets.

Paul Cockram, Head of Fundraising, NSPCC Scotland said: “We are delighted to be partnered with Edinburgh’s world famous Christmas celebrations as we try to make sure more children and young people have a safe and happy Christmas this year”.

To browse Edinburgh’s Christmas programme in full, head to www.edinburghschristmas.com.