CROWDS turned out to celebrate with the Mayor of Worcester as the city’s Christmas lights were switched on.

Hundreds packed out Cathedral Square for the ‘official’ launch of the Christmas season.

It is the first time that the switch-on has taken place at this location and this year fairy lights have been dotted along the High Street in trees, creating a twinkle and magical effect along the strip.

Emily Sale, 21, said: "The decorations are wonderful. I've been coming to the Christmas light switch-on every year and each year it amazes me."

Luca Wooding, a student from Regency High School, in Warndon, helped the Mayor, Councillor Jabba Riaz, to switch on the lights.

He is the latest person to accompany Cllr Riaz in his ‘Companion for the Day’ programme, which gives young people with special needs the chance to join him on community duties.

The 16-year-old, from Droitwich, helped turn on the lights and has previously also visited the Worcester Muslim Welfare Association to look at their current projects, at Unity House, in Stanley Road, with Cllr Riaz.

Luca's mum Amanda said: "I'm very proud of Luca. I never thought he would do anything like this. He's come a long way. He's had a few problems in his past and this is a big thing for him. He even got up and had a dance!"

The switch-on event was hosted by BBC Hereford and Worcester presenters Elliott Webb and Malcolm Boyden.

There was a community carol sing along after the lights were switched on.

The event was the official start of late-night shopping in the city, where many shops will be open until 8.00pm every Thursday night until Christmas.