Norwich shopping centre’s Christmas lights switch-on

Last year's X Factor star Jamie Archer proved he's still an idol for hundreds of screaming fans when he sang and switched on the Christmas lights at a Norwich shopping centre.

The singer with the unmistakable afro haircut sang six rock and pop classics before switching on the lights at the Mall Norwich last night.

Hundreds of people lined the balcony and floor of the shopping centre to get a glimpse of the singer who said he was honoured to be in Norwich for the event.

He said: 'It's still happening for me and I'm still getting a great reaction from people even though I was on last year's X Factor.

'The X Factor was the first chapter, but this is the next step for me. I'm recording my first album at the moment and I'm still getting great reactions from people wherever I go.'

He said people in Norwich had been extremely friendly, but admitted to not knowing the city very well.

'I know there's a street in Norwich called Unthank Road where a friend of mine used to live, and there's a bendy road with a church somewhere, but I don't know it well.'

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He sang six songs to an audience of screaming fans including Bon Jovi's Living on a Prayer and Madonna's Like A Prayer.

Victoria Haverson, marketing manager at The Mall Norwich, said it was a great turnout.

'Having Jamie here has really launched our Christmas shopping season,' she said.

Other activities taking place at the shopping centre yesterday included face painting and carol singers to get people in the festive spirit, and there was also the chance to visit Santa and his elves in his grotto.

This week also saw the return of the shopping centre's Giving Tree, which runs until Friday, December 17, and which encourages shoppers to donate a gift during their Christmas shopping to a local child in need.

The Christmas craft market will also return from Saturday, December 4 until Christmas Eve. Stalls will feature a host of handmade gifts ideal for extra special Christmas presents.

The craft market will take place during normal opening hours and will be outside Boots on level one of the shopping centre.