VIDEO: Watch Chris-tmas Kamara light up Wakefield

The countdown to Christmas was launched in Wakefield this evening, when celebrity Chris Kamara switched on the festive lights.

The popular TV pundit took to the stage in the Bull Ring where crowds had braved the cold and the rain for the festive event.

Joined by Wakefield mayor, Coun Harry Ellis, he arrived to cheers from the waiting crowds, cracked a few gags and helped push the plunger to light up the town.

He told the Express: “It was so enjoyable, for somebody to ask you to turn on the Christmas lights for a place that I’ve lived for 26 years, it’s an absolute honour.

“For the people to turn out as they did on such a wet and horrible night was just amazing.

“It was nice to meet the mayor and the atmosphere.”

The Sky Sports star is famed for his hilarious gaffes on live TV and beginning his match reports with “Unbelievable”.

Having lived locally since the 1990s when the former player signed for Leeds United, the 58-year-old told the Express that he jumped at the chance to do the switch-on.

He said: “I was really chuffed to be asked and thought it would be one off my bucket list.”

Following two days of festive events, the celebrations conclude tomorrow Saturday, November 19, between noon and 3pm, when Castleford-born X-Factor singer Jack Walton will perform before switching on the lights at The Ridings shopping centre.

There will also be performances from Wakefield Community Gospel Choir, and players from Wakefield Wildcats will reveal their new home shirt for 2016/17.