Can you spot the stars in Norwich's virtual Christmas light switch-on?

An array of stars appeared in a virtual switch-on of Norwich's Christmas lights

An array of stars appeared in a virtual switch-on of Norwich's Christmas lights - Credit: Epic Studios/Norwich City Council

It was more than just the lights that were twinkling as Norwich City Council held its virtual Christmas switch-on - calling on a cast of stars to help out on the way.

In lieu of being able to hold the annual event in person, the council called upon several well known Norfolk faces to help make the event still feel special.

In a heartwarming video to rival even a John Lewis Christmas advert, stars including an Oscar winner, a Norwich City legend and even the city's favourite fictional son got involved in producing the video project, which has been shared across various social media platforms.

Oscar winner Olivia Colman in Norwich's virtual Christmas lights switch-on. 

Oscar winner Olivia Colman in Norwich's virtual Christmas lights switch-on. - Credit: Epic Studios/Norwich City Council


Produced by the team at Epic Studios, the video features five-year-old Ollie Howard - the son of council events co-ordinator Liz Howard -  taking Father Christmas himself on a guided tour of Norwich, with stunning light displays following them along the way.

Stephen Fry's appearance in the video

Stephen Fry's appearance in the video - Credit: Norwich City Council/Epic Studios

An all-star cast including Olivia Colman, Stephen Fry and Steve Coogan - as Alan Partridge - came together to also appear , each contributing short clips of them clapping their hands and thanking the Fine City's key workers for their efforts during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Norwich City legend Darren Huckerby's appearance in the video

Norwich City legend Darren Huckerby's appearance in the video - Credit: Norwich City Council/Epic Studios


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The festive flick, which cost £10,000 to make was also given a Norwich City feel, with a visit to Carrow Road hosted by  Darren Huckerby, along with appearances from current Canaries Alex Tettey and Xavi Quintilla.

Television presenter Jake Humphrey, who appeared alongside his wife and two children, said: "How can you not be in on a video with Alan Partridge, Stephen Fry and Olivia Colman? I think the fact so any well known people were so keen to be in this film shows their true love for Norwich.

Television Jake Humphrey appearing in the video

Television Jake Humphrey appearing in the video - Credit: Norwich City Council/Epic Studios

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"As a Norwich boy I've never felt such togetherness in the city I call home - despite us being apart. My wife, Flo and Seb also enjoyed meeting the main man."

The short film culminates with a team of key workers pressing down the plungers to switch on the dazzling Christmas lights.

Father Christmas is shown around Norwich by youngster Ollie Howard. 

Father Christmas is shown around Norwich by youngster Ollie Howard. - Credit: Norwich City Council/Epic Studios

Alan Waters, leader of the city council, said the video had been made as a way to give something back to people who made sacrifices during the pandemic.

He said: "This has been an exceptionally tough year but we have got through it together - we hope the next one is much brighter."

Youngster Ollie Howard in Norwich City Council's Christmas video

Youngster Ollie Howard in Norwich City Council's Christmas video - Credit: NCC/Epic Studios

The key workers tasked with switching on the lights were:

  • Jonny Wilson, Royal Mail postman
  • Gary Scott, Biffa refuse loader
  • Britta Anderson, NHS deputy sister
  • David Thomas, Jane Austin College principal
  • Victor Inyang, East Anglian Air Ambulance medical director
  • Hannah Worsley, Norwich Foodbank project manager
  • Mick Popey, Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service firefighter
  • Chris Clay, Norfolk Constabulary police officer

The special guests were:

  • Olivia Colman
  • Stephen Fry
  • Steve Coogan - as Alan Partridge
  • Chris Rankin
  • Jake Humphrey and family
  • Nina Nannar
  • Darren Huckerby
  • Alex Tettey
  • Xavi Quintilla
  • Father Christmas

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