Underwear models at Christmas shopping event

Shoppers in Norwich were treated to a host of events including ice sculptures, male underwear models and a visit from Harry Potter star Chris Rankin at the weekend.

The Christmas Shopping event in John Lewis on Saturday saw ice sculptures carved live outside the shop while the Norwich City Concert band played nearby and customers were handed mulled apple punch and mince pies.

Inside the store actor Chris Rankin, who plays Percy Weasley in the Harry Potter films, signed autographs for fans.

He said it was a welcome return to Norfolk, as he grew up in Dereham and went to Northgate High School.

'It's nice to come back and do local events, to see people say 'I'm from Dereham too',' he said.

'It's home, and it's nice to be here.'

The latest instalment of the film franchise, Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 1, is released on Friday, and shooting for the second and final film has already finished.

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'It's really weird to think that it's been ten years, it's been amazing,' said Chris.

'Knowing that it's not there any more has been a bit strange.'

He also judged the Harry Potter costume competition, and handed the winners Harry Potter Lego games and cinema tickets to see the new film.

Staff also put on a Christmas treasure hunt around the shop for children, and a post box so that they could send their letters to Father Christmas.

For adults there were two Calvin Klein underwear models on display in the shop window.

They promoted the Calvin Klein Christmas mens' range by posing for those on the pavement from 11am, and then headed to the menswear department to take part in a series of fashion workshops.

Other events in the store included cookery demonstrations, food tastings and a special Christmas menu was put on in the store cafe.

General manager Richard Marks said the idea behind the event was to 'kick-start Christmas'.

'I'm pleased we've been able to stage an ice sculpture event in the city, we've been able to keep that tradition alive,' he said.

'We tried to organise a mixture of events that would appeal to everyone.'

? Are you planning an event in the run-up to Christmas? Call reporter Matthew Sparkes on 01603 772439 or email matthew.sparkes@archant.co.uk