“This is as good as Disneyland” - thumbs up for Norwich’s Christmas lights switch on as Strictly Come Dancing’s Ed Balls flicks the switch

Festive scenes were projected onto Norwich City Hall. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Festive scenes were projected onto Norwich City Hall. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Thousands of people of all ages braved the cold last night to see Norwich City chairman, and Strictly Come Dancing sensation, Ed Balls add a glitter ball glow to the Norwich Christmas lights switch on.

The former Labour shadow chancellor danced and pranced in front of an enthusiastic throng outside City Hall before switching on the lights which was followed by volleys of fireworks, first from Norwich City Council's impressive headquarters and then from the roof of Jarrold.

And as coloured shards of fire were shot high into the sky over the city a sparkling projected festive light show set to music got underway, thanks to the team at Norwich BID, on the front of City Hall which at one point was turned into a huge Christmas present, complete with bow.

Alongside the Christmas lights there was Santa's colourful parade from Norwich Cathedral, accompanied by carol singers, entertainment from a host of performers, a 27ft Norwegian Spruce Christmas Tree outside City Hall and the 60-metre long tunnel of light on Hay Hill, made from 50,000 LED bulbs, another addition from the Norwich BID team.

All in all it proved to be a gift of a night for those that made their way into Norwich.

Greg Wilson, 44, from Brundall, took his children Eve, 12, and Joe, eight, to the event for the first time and 'enjoyed' although clearly not as much as his son who said: 'This is as good as Disneyland.'

Marion Maxwell, Norwich's Lord Mayor, said: 'It was fantastic. It's a great start to the festivities and you do feel like Christmas is coming.'