Christmas lights sparkle as 'son of Kettering' Hugh virtually switches on display

The comedian and actor was born in the town in 1962

By Alison Bagley
Friday, 27th November 2020, 2:08 pm
Updated Friday, 27th November 2020, 2:58 pm
The Kettering Christmas lights were switched on virtually by Hugh Dennis
The Kettering Christmas lights were switched on virtually by Hugh Dennis

Kettering-born comedian Hugh Dennis has kicked off the town's Christmas celebrations this year in a virtual light switch on ceremony and hinted he might be back next year.

In a pre-recorded interview, Mr Dennis answered questions about his life in lockdown, his career and what he loved most about Christmas.

Best known for his appearances in Outnumbered, Mock The Week and Not Going Out, the 58-year-old was joined virtually by The Mayor and Mayoress of Kettering, Cllr James Burton and his wife Lorraine, and school children sending special festive messages.

Describing himself as 'a son of Kettering' Mr Dennis admitted that although he left when he was three months old, he thought it still counted, and he had since returned to the town of his birth.

Mr Dennis said: "I am delighted to be here to switch on your virtual Christmas lights this year. Clearly I would have loved to be there in person because I haven't been back to Kettering in a long time.

"I have many happy memories of being there but actually they are not that well formed because I was only three months old but I have been back subsequently and it was all very lovely."

Answering questions on a range of subject including how he got into comedy, giving advice to aspiring actors as well as his future projects he revealed his greatest achievement during lockdown was 'not going slowly mad'.

The countdown included clips from previous Thursday night switch-ons that usually see hundreds joining in the festive event but Covid-19 restrictions meant the crowd-pleasing celebration was cancelled.

Pre-recorded messages were played from Brambleside Primary School, Kettering Park Junior Academy, Compass Primary Academy, Barton Seagrave Primary School, Hawthorn Community Primary School, Geddington C of E School, St Peter's School and St Edward's Catholic Primary School.

As part of the Christmas festivities, and to support local businesses, there will be free parking in all Kettering Council owned car parks for the rest of the year.

Kettering Christmas Markets will be held from 9am to 4pm on December 12 and 19, with a teenage market and small business Saturday from 9am to 4pm on December 5.

Hugh Dennis

Mr Dennis added: "I am sorry that I couldn't be there in 2020 to switch on your Christmas lights but hopefully I can be there in 2021."

The Mayor of Kettering James Burton and Mayoress Lorraine
Kettering Market Place
The lights in Gold Street, High Street and Lower Street