- On Thursday 2 November 2023, Oxford Street was the first to switch on its world-famous Christmas lights in the capital, kick-starting the festive season in London
- Millie Bright, captain of the Lionesses and Chelsea Football Club celebrated the switch on of the iconic Christmas lights and launched the ‘Stars for Starlight’ initiative
- Members of the public are invited to sponsor an Oxford Street star to support children in hospital this Christmas
Oxford Street's iconic starry skies shine bright as the world famous Christmas lights are switched on
On Thursday 2 November, the world-famous Oxford Street was the first to switch on its Christmas lights in in the capital, officially bringing Christmas to London as thousands of brilliant white stars now blanket the sky. This year’s stars shined a little brighter thanks to Millie Bright, captain of the Lionesses and Chelsea Football Club, who visited Oxford Street in support of charity partner Starlight.
Members of the public can sponsor an Oxford Street star from the iconic light installation to help make a child’s stay in hospital brighter through play. 100,000 children in the UK spend Christmas in hospital each year and sponsoring a star for £10 will help improve the experience for a child in hospital this Christmas.
The light display provides a spectacular backdrop for visitors to explore the wonders of London’s ultimate festive destination and it’s also environmentally conscious having been made from recycled polymer and features more than 300,000 LED star lights which are 75% more energy efficient than standard bulbs. The stars will be illuminated for a reduced number of hours this year from 3pm to 11pm.
The enchanting display is part of Oxford Street’s ‘Feel the Magic’ campaign which will also see a wonderful array of festive on-street and in-store activities on offer for the return of its ‘Magic Days’. Taking place on three Saturdays in the lead-up to Christmas on 2, 9, and 16 December, the famous shopping street will come to life with on street performers as well as exclusive offers, gifts, and festive experiences across the variety of stores and brands
Adding even more excitement to the festive destination, the first-ever elliptical ice rink ‘Skate West End’ is coming to the West End on 4 November. Celebrating and welcoming people of all ages, visitors will be able to enjoy an enchanting ice skate or a hot festive drink in style whilst spectating from the central bar.
Visitors can transport themselves to a winter wonderland with the life-sized snow globe presented by Uniqlo at Outernet, an immersive entertainment experience hub. The Enchanted Snow Globe is just one of many festive experiences at Outernet this Christmas, which includes interactive games and immersive experiences – all of which are free.
Dee Corsi, CEO at New West End Company commented: “We’re delighted that the highly-anticipated Christmas lights on Oxford Street are now officially on, a moment that marks the arrival of Christmas for so many of us. The world-famous lights are a wonderful and inclusive experience that gives everyone the chance to celebrate the joy of Christmas magic together. The dazzling display provides an incredible backdrop for a variety of festive activities on Oxford Street and across the West End, whether visitors are shopping with our fantastic mix of retailers, enjoying exceptional dining or simply spending time together creating family memories.
“This year, we are also thrilled to be partnering with a wonderful children’s charity; Starlight’s mission to bring the joy of play to children in hospital is a cause we can all get behind, and everyone has the opportunity play their part by giving back through the Stars for Starlight project.”
Millie Bright, captain of the Lionesses and Cheslea Football Club and Starlight Supporter said: “I’m so excited to be a part of the launch of the iconic Oxford Street Christmas lights this year alongside the amazing children’s charity, Starlight. I’ve been visiting Oxford Street at Christmas time with my family ever since I can remember so tonight was a special moment for me.
I’m so happy to be here supporting Starlight and the work they do to support children in hospital. It’s an issue very close to my heart. Having been hospitalised with pneumonia as a baby and then growing up with asthma, which I still manage today, I spent a lot of time in and out of hospital as a kid and was told it would affect my ability to play sport –which I obviously didn’t let happen!
“I encourage everyone to visit the wonderful light displays and Christmas activity on Oxford Street to get into the festive spirit and for those who can, to sponsor a star in the installation to support children who will be spending Christmas in hospital this year.”
Cathy Gilman, CEO at Starlight, said: “Stars for Starlight as part of Oxford Street’s Feel the Magic Christmas campaign is a wonderful opportunity for people to show their support to the many thousands of children who will have to spend the festive period in hospital. Through the power of play, Starlight helps children throughout their treatment while they are in the unfamiliar and lonely environment of a hospital and undergoing scary procedures. Every star is a valuable donation, helping us to make a child’s stay in hospital brighter.”
Stay up to date with the festivities @oxfordstreetw1. For festive inspiration, details on Oxford Street Magic Days, or to sponsor a star for Starlight visit oxfordstreet.co.uk.
T: Sarita Knight +44 7841 672 396