Filming starts for TV series about Harrogate at Christmas

Harrogate at Christmas last year: Brian Dunsby with The Gambaru elves Jonathan Walker and Matthew Goodall , Steve Scarre, and members of The Harrogate Lions Eric Wright, Carol Houseman, Eve Nelson, Steve Caldwell and Stewart Reid.
Harrogate at Christmas last year: Brian Dunsby with The Gambaru elves Jonathan Walker and Matthew Goodall , Steve Scarre, and members of The Harrogate Lions Eric Wright, Carol Houseman, Eve Nelson, Steve Caldwell and Stewart Reid.

Filming starts this week for a new TV documentary series showcasing the charm of Harrogate's Christmas celebrations.

As the campaign to fund this year's lights officially launches on Friday, Daisybeck Studios will be around town filming local businesses taking part in the Christmas shop window competition, and capturing the extraordinary efforts of all the volunteers working hard behind the scenes to make the festive feat happen.

The two-part series will air on Channel 5 in December, and the organisers of the lights, the Harrogate at Christmas Group, are excited about this opportunity for the town to shine on national television.

Helping to secure more than £30,000 each year, the group's How Big is Your Bauble fundraising day returns to Stray FM is on Friday, September 8, - inviting residents and businesses to support the lights and make a pledge.

The Harrogate at Christmas chairman, John Fox, said: "We've had a lot of interest in this year's campaign since Daisybeck announced they were coming to Harrogate.

"What's important now is to ensure we convert that into pledges and donations on Friday. Any business hoping to take part in the Christmas shop window competition needs to make a donation.

"We'll be presenting the awards to the winners of the competition at the big switch-on, which takes place on Thursday, November 16, which will all be filmed for the documentary. It's a fantastic opportunity to be part of something really special for Harrogate.

"We absolutely rely on the generosity of everyone, from individuals and small businesses to the big chain stores. Every donation, no matter how small or large, is important and could make all the difference when it comes to lighting up Harrogate again this Christmas."

Producers from Daisybeck Studios, behind the likes of the Channel 5 series The Yorkshire Vet, met with Harrogate businesses and community groups in June to present their vision for the series.

The Harrogate at Christmas Group, who have now been the organisers of the Christmas lights for 10 years, said the documentary will make the celebrations even more special.

John Fox said: "Every year our volunteers work incredibly hard to make sure Harrogate looks and feels festive in the run-up to Christmas.

"This year will be no different for us - we've been out and about speaking to local businesses over the summer to gain as much support as possible. But we're really pleased that all that hard work, and the many contributions from the business community and local residents, will be highlighted on national television.

"Christmas is such a vital time of year for our local shops, restaurants and hotels - many of them need to achieve a large proportion of their annual turnover in the six weeks up to Christmas.

"This documentary is a great opportunity for us to show Harrogate at its very best, with everyone pulling together for the good of our town, and bringing in lots of visitors as a result."

For more information about the Harrogate at Christmas lights campaign, visit the website: www.harrogateatchristmas.org, or call John Fox on 07801 273704.