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FUN FACTOR AND THE X FACTOR; ++ CHRISTMAS LIGHTS SWITCH-ON ++.

Byline: By Cara Simpson

HOMER SIMPSON and the Big Brother twins Samanda are warming up for the big Coventry Christmas lights switch-on on Sunday.

Thousands are expected to flood into the city centre to join in the fun. An impressive line-up of acts will entertain the crowds before and after the lights go on at 5pm.

Kate Taylor, CV One press and PR co-ordinator, said: "The Christmas lights switch-on is set to be a reality TV fest, with popular runners-up of Big Brother, Sam and Amanda, performing alongside X Factor finalists.

"It is a mixture of superb vocals and the fun factor, which is set to make Coventry's Christmas lights switch-on one to remember."

The action will be spread across the city centre. There will be stages at the precinct crossroads and in Little Park Street.

The lights switch-on will take place at 5pm in Broadgate and be preceded by a parade and children's floats.

As well as the TV stars there will be local talent performing, including Coventry act Satin Dolls, who have supported well-known bands the Feeling and the Subways, and Sammi and Sarah Tuson.

Samanda will then close the spectacular event with a performance of their debut single Barbie Girl. Some streets will be closed to traffic for the festivities. They are: 6am until 7pm

St John's Street, Much Park Street and the entrance road to Much Park Street car park between its junctions with St John's Street and the ring road. 6am until midnight

Broadgate, Trinity Street between Broadgate and Ironmonger Row, Greyfriars Lane, High Street, Salt Lane and Pepper Lane. 3pm until midnight

Jordan Well, Earl Street, Little Park Street, Bayley Lane between St Mary Street and Cuckoo Lane, Cuckoo Lane, Trinity Lane, Trinity Street, Ironmonger Row, Cross Cheaping, Bishop Street and Hales Street between Burges and Trinity Street. 2pm until 7pm

Ironmonger Row, Trinity Street, Cross Cheaping, Burges, Bishop Street, Corporation Street between the access road to West Orchards car park and Hales Street, Hales Street between Burges and Trinity Street.

TIMETABLE OF CITY CENTRE EVENTS

FROM 1-5PM

The Mercia FM stage is at the precinct crossroads (outside Marks &Spencer) and will host performances and displays from the Kombat Breakers, Coventry Blaze, The Dynamite Cheerleaders, Cassidy Jets, Freeman Dance group and Coventry Rugby Football Club.

For younger members of the audience, Barney the Dinosaur and Shaun the Sheep will grace the stage.

FROM 4-5PM

A Christmas parade of local dignitaries and societies, led by the Standard Triumph band, starts in Little Park Street and wends its way around the city centre, ending in Broadgate for the switch-on at 5pm.

The parade will feature Coventry's modern-day Lady Godiva Pru Porretta, Lord Mayor Dave Batten - and even Homer Simpson and Santa.

It will also include schoolchildren on floats who will be dressed to coincide with the event's theme of celebrations.

FROM 5-7.30PM.

After the switch-on the action switches to the Heart FM stage in Little Park Street (opposite the Council House)

5.30-5.35 Welcome to the event; and parade of schoolchildren's floats;

5.35-5.50 Satin Dolls;

5.50-6.05 Competition;

6.10-6.25 Sammi and Sara Tuson;

6.25-6.40 Kimberley from X Factor;

6.40-6.55 Futureproof from X Factor;

6.55-7.10 Andy from X Factor;

7.15-7.20 Samanda;

7.20-7.30 Interview Samanda;

7.30 Thank yous & goodnight.

Towns get in festive mood too

REVELLERS at Nuneaton's Christmas lights switch-on will sample the flavour of the entente cordiale in the build-up to Sunday's event.

The town centre will host a British and French market from noon, with borough mayor Bill Sheppard switching on the lights at 5pm.

Victorian characters and street entertainers will mingle with shoppers, while students from King Edward VI College will perform Dickens's A Christmas Carol from 2pm outside Marks & Spencer.

Workshops will offer circus skills such as juggling and platespinning. Father Christmas will join the mayor for the switch-on, which will be followed by fireworks.

South Warwickshire has three switch-ons over the next few days, starting at Whitnash, near Leamington, tomorrow.

Next up will be Leamington itself on Sunday when crowds will gather round the town hall for the tree lights switch on at 4.30pm followed by the main lights at 5.45pm.

The main shopping area of Kenilworth will get in party mood on November 23 with the switch-on just before 7pm.

CAPTION(S):

RN131107CHRI1 SPARKLING SHOW... Pupils at Hill Farm Primary School get in the mood for Sunday's parade. Picture: Richard Nelmes; SINGING SENSATIONS... TV's Sam and Amanda and boy band Futureproof are ready to rock the audience.; Lights switch-on picture special: See Monday's Telegraph
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Nov 16, 2007
Words:773
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