Who’s Turning Your Town’s On? 谁来为城市点燃彩灯?
As Christmas approaches, towns and cities around the UK are preparing for a peculiarly British celebration.
The switching on of a town’s Christmas lights has become an increasingly competitive event over the years, with some councils spending lots of money to attract A-list celebrities to do the honours.
The American singer Mariah Carey flew to London in November to switch on the lights at one of the city’s biggest shopping centres, while Jim Carrey illuminated Oxford Street and promoted his new film at the same time.
The historic English city of Bath was brought to a standstill as thousands of fans flocked to see the Hollywood actor Nicolas Cage conduct the switching-on ceremony.
However, some celebrations do not go according to plan as was seen in Birmingham when dozens of people were injured in a crowd surge as the famous British boy band JLS took the stage.
Not all towns can afford to bring in an internationally-known star, so many switch-on ceremonies are handled by ex-TV talent show contestants.
The hit TV programme the X Factor has supplied many smaller municipalities with a low-budget celebrity like Chico, a singer who reached the quarter-finals of that show back in 2005.
Pantomime stars are also much in demand at this time of year, as they endeavour to promote their Christmas shows.
But if your council hasn’t got the budget to bring in a famous face, what are the cheaper alternatives?
A town in the west of England chose to let the public decide by submitting their suggestions online. The result: a 21-year-old DIY store worker was given the prestigious duty.
"I was amazed and delighted to be asked," said Scott Parker, "it's just a privilege and not something I'd ever thought about before."
switching on 点燃(灯火)
A-list celebrities 一流名人
do the honours 剪彩/掌灯（等荣耀）
brought to a standstill 导致（交通）堵塞
crowd surge （人群）蜂拥而上
boy band 男子乐队
TV talent show 电视才艺秀
low-budget celebrity 酬劳不高的三流明星
prestigious duty 荣耀的责任