Black Country icon to switch on Christmas lights in historic Birmingham neighbourhood

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Set to become a winter wonderland, the historic Jewellery Quarter will be transformed over the festive period

The Jewellery Quarter’s much anticipated Christmas Light Switch On is set to take place this month with the help from Black Country icon.

The Jewellery Quarter Business Improvement District (JQBID) will be hosting the festive ceremony tonight (Friday November 17) at 5pm to kick off Christmas season with a bang featuring live music, food, and drink.

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Set to become a winter wonderland, the historic Jewellery Quarter will be transformed by over 100 bespoke Christmas lights, two 30-foot Christmas trees and the city’s largest lighting feature – a stunning 3m x 3m illuminated diamond ring.

Internet, stage and film star Doreen Tipton, played by actress Gill Jordan, will be turning on the lights this year. Doreen rose to fame and achieved local legend status thanks to her mockumentary which was based on the Channel 4 series Benefits Street.

Doreen’s viral video achieved more than a million views on YouTube in 2012, and she has even written her book fcalled From Rug-Rats to Riches.

Doreen will be joining the event whilst rehearsing for Birmingham Hippodrome’s pantomime Jack and the Beanstalk, where she will be playing the role of Doreen the Cow alongside Birmingham’s own Alison Hammond and Hippodrome favourite Matt Slack.

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Visitors will be able to enjoy delicious plant-based fusion cuisine from Notty Bites and seasonal drinks from local favourites, Rose Villa Tavern, Lunchi, and Urban before a spectacular firework display from 6PM.

Doreen Tipton stars in Birmingham Hippodrome Jack in the Beanstalk panto with Alison HammondDoreen Tipton stars in Birmingham Hippodrome Jack in the Beanstalk panto with Alison Hammond
Doreen Tipton stars in Birmingham Hippodrome Jack in the Beanstalk panto with Alison Hammond | Birmingham Hippodrome

Commenting ahead of the festive activities, JQBID CEO Luke Crane, said: “The return of the Christmas Light Switch On and Christmas Window Trail is the result of months of hard work and planning from the JQBID team. We’re incredibly proud of our part of the city, and we can’t wait for people to join us in celebrating everything that the Jewellery Quarter has to offer.”

Following the Switch On, the Jewellery Quarter’s Christmas Window Trail will also make its anticipated return. Having grown in size and competitiveness since first launching in 2019, the trail is set to feature over 60 local businesses that will be mapped out for residents and visitors alike to explore during the festive season.

With businesses from all sectors including jewellers, hair salons, cafés, bars, and museums set to be involved, participants will be able to vote for their favourite display via QR codes in the windows.The trail is in support of Change Into Action and includes a stop at the Banksy to remind visitors why it’s important to help homeless people at this time of year.

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