X Factor star Jack Walton helps kickstart Wakefield Christmas celebrations

Singer Jack Walton from the XFactor, makes an appearance at the christmas lights switch on in The Ridings shopping mall, Wakefield.'w307b446
Singer Jack Walton from the XFactor, makes an appearance at the christmas lights switch on in The Ridings shopping mall, Wakefield.'w307b446

Former X Factor star Jack Walton was greeted by hundreds of fans as he helped the people of Wakefield get into the Christmas spirit.

The 18-year-old from Castleford was joined by father-and-son dance act Stavros Flatley at the switch on of The Ridings shopping centre lights on Saturday.

Jack, who was sent home from the talent competition earlier this month, took the stage and performed four songs to the cheering fans.

He said: “It was amazing because it’s the first gig I’ve done that was really close to home and seeing some familiar faces and how much support there is from local people meant so much.

“It sounds a bit daft but I never thought I would be switching Christmas lights on - they’re normally done by celebrities and now it’s me.”

Barbara Winston, centre manager at The Ridings said the switch on saw a record number of people attend.

She added: “It was a great privilege to have X Factor finalist Jack Walton switch on our Christmas lights, he was definitely a popular choice, especially when we consider that this was Jack’s first gig in

Yorkshire since leaving the talent contest.”

Festivities in Wakefield will continue with the opening of an ice skating rink on the Cathedral precinct from Friday, November 21.

Sessions will run for 30 minutes and cost £2.

The build up starts in Pontefract with the switch on of the town’s Christmas lights on Monday, November 24 at 6.30pm.

There will be entertainment, fairground rides and Pontefract Lioness Club will hold a Santa’s grotto in St Giles’ Church from 3pm.

Festivities will get underway in Castleford on Tuesday, November 25 on Carlton Street.

There will also be live entertainment and rides before the switch-on by district councillors at 5.30pm.

Lights will be switched on in Featherstone at 6pm on Wednesday, November 26.

There will be festive activities and stalls in Featherstone Methodist Church, Wilson Street from 4pm.