Sporting legend to turn on Norwich’s Christmas lights

One of Britain's most famous sporting legends will be getting the festive season off to a running start this year at Norwich's Christmas light switch-on.

Steve Cram MBE, former world record holder at 1,500m, 2,000m and the mile, will be doing the honours of turning on the city's Christmas lights on November 18.

Now one of BBC's sports presenters, the former Olympian's career spanned three decades and included six gold medals at Commonwealth, European and World Championships, an Olympic silver medal and in 1985 three world records in just 19 days.

People will be able to meet the running legend in person at The Forum from 3pm onwards before he switches on the lights at 7pm,

Steve Morphew, leader of Norwich City Council, said: 'It's always great to have someone who is world class in their field come to a world class city like Norwich as we prepare for Christmas and all the fun that goes with it.

'The Christmas light switch-on is the start of a season that brings many people together and the crowds for this free event seem to get bigger every year. 'It's also another great excuse to set off a few fireworks and there is nothing Norwich likes better.'

Mr Cram, who will also take part in the Adnams 10k in Southwold on November 21, will turn on the lights right across the city, including the Christmas tree outside the Forum, one of the tallest in the country.

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Father Christmas will also be on hand, collecting children's Christmas wish lists and letters in his special post box and there will be plenty of entertainment on offer at the free event, which is supported by the Evening News' sister paper the Eastern Daily Press and radio station Heart 102.4, and afterwards in Norwich Lanes.

It will be Norwich's third Christmas light switch-on after the lights in Chapelfield were turned on with the help of Bob the Builder last Thursday and the lights in the Mall are due to be switched on this Thursday.

James Archer, from X Factor 2009, will be singing a selection of rock classics at The Mall Norwich's Christmas event. He will be on stage at 6.30pm, followed by the Christmas light's switch on at 7pm.

Elsewhere, Formula One presenter and former Norwich schoolboy Jake Humphrey will switch on the Christmas lights in Holt on November 24 at 6.30pm.

For the City Hall light switch-on, extended evening bus services will operate from the Norwich International Airport, Postwick and Thickthorn park and ride sites.

The Sprowston and Harford sites will operate with last buses leaving the city centre at 9.30pm, and the last bus to the Costessey site leaving the city centre at 8.30pm.

Are you hosting a special Christmas event? Call reporter Kate Scotter on 01603 772326 or email