Toys R Us Christmas advert brings stardom for Harrogate singers

Christine Littlewood stands centre stage amongst the Echo 42 big band and the rest of the cast of In the Mood ready for the HOPS production.

Christine Littlewood stands centre stage amongst the Echo 42 big band and the rest of the cast of In the Mood ready for the HOPS production.

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There’s almost no debate that the Christmas season truly starts with the launch of the festive television adverts.

With the town’s first snow of the season falling yesterday and the John Lewis Christmas advert debuting today, it seems safe to say Christmas is here.

But for some town residents, the festive magic has also brought a little shine of stardom, as members of various Harrogate choir groups are featured in this year’s Toys R Us Christmas advert.

It means new found fame on a broader scale for long-standing member of Harrogate Operatic Players Society (HOPS), Christine Littlewood who is clearly visible in the advert..

Christine said: “I was delighted when they asked me.

“We went to the Toys R Us shop in Leeds and we were outside in our winter coats and scarves under a snow machine, it was magical.

“We must have sung the song about 20 times, we had to wait until it got dark and it was quite windy so every so often the wind blew the snow away.

“It was a very long night but they were lovely to us, we all had hair and make up done, even the men!

“Because we were just in the quartet they honed in on our faces.

“My grandchildren think it’s great - one of them came round the other day and said ‘I saw you on the television!’”

Produced by local man, Nick Hancock, the advert also featured singing groups from St Robert’s Church choir, Pannal, children from Pannal Primary School, Voces Sephorum, Vocalis and Rock Up and Sing! The advert concludes with them all singing on the stage of the Royal Hall.

Christine, has been involved with HOPS for 40 years and many people will recognise her from the many roles she has played at the town theatre.

But now Christine and the rest of HOPS are already ahead of the game and are less concerned with Christmas spirit and more concerned with 1940’s vibes.

The HOPS 1940’s style production ‘In the Mood’ opens tonight (Thursday November 10) at The Crown Hotel in Harrogate.

Christine said: “It’s to put everybody in the mood for the 1940’s for next year and our Betty Blue Eyes show next June, which is set in the 1940’s.”

Christine will be singing with the town’s Echo 42 big band, which marks a complete change of style for the society.

Christine said: “It’s very different for the society to sing with a band. Because of the instruments, we have to sing in a lower key to what we would normally sing.”

Tickets to see In the Mood can be purchased on the door, via telephone 01423 569 817 or by clicking here.

Evening performances start at 7.30pm and a matinee at 2.30 on Saturday.