Thousands in town centre to see The Risk turn on Christmas lights
Reporter: Laura Wild
Date online: 19 November 2011
Thousands descended on Rochdale town centre to see X Factor finalists The Risk turn on the Christmas lights.
Crowds gathered to see the four piece – Charlie Healy, Ashford Campbell, Andy Merry and Derry Mensah– flick the switch for the lights, after they performed three songs.
After the lights were officially turned on a spectacular fire work display filled the night sky.
Speaking to Rochdale Online before going on stage, Charlie from The Risk, said: “I already know tonight is going to be amazing.”
The Risk left the X Factor competition just two weeks ago, Charlie said: “When the public didn’t vote we didn’t know how they would react but we have been overwhelmed by the response.”
He added: “We have been really busy, we have three gigs today. The first one is Rochdale then Leicester and Birmingham.”
The switch on show was hosted by Gareth Bird and Elliot Eastwick from 96.2 The Revolution and the line-up included pop singer Alexa Goddard, new band Eli Prime, Joe Cox and Max Vickers who appeared on the X Factor and Rochdale’s very own singer Jade Hegarty.
The Mayor of Rochdale, Councillor Alan Godson, also made an appearance, alongside the Middleton Arena cast of Aladdin.
Rochdale singer Jade Hegarty, described the experience as “amazing.”
She said: “I have performed in pubs and clubs but never anything like this, it was great, I really enjoyed it.”
Joe Cox, from the X Factor, said: “The crowd were incredible – I’m so grateful.”
Mayor Godson, added: “This is a really good event for Rochdale. This is money well spent. It is a big deal, there is nothing second rate about it. It’s very good and very impressive.”
The Leader of Rochdale Council, Councillor Colin Lambert, who attended with his family, said: “I’d like to thank all the thousands of people who came and supported the event tonight. I’m sure they enjoyed it, and I hope they will return to see all the other things we have to offer in Rochdale this Christmas.”
Debbie O’Brien, from Rochdale Town Centre Management, concluded: “Tonight has gone really well. It has been a really positive night and everyone is really happy.
“This is a really good night for the town centre.”
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