X Factor star Stevi Ritchie to turn on Halesowen's lights

X Factor and Celebrity Big Brother star Stevi Ritchie will be in Halesowen on Saturday, for the big switch-on of the Christmas lights.

Stevi will be joined in pressing the button to light up the town by Dave Watson, from Romsley, who won a gold and bronze medal in Prince Harry’s Invictus Games this year. Stevi replaces New Dynamixx, who have withdrawn from the event.

The Halesowen event is organised in conjunction with Halesowen Chamber of Trade, and will include a Christmas market, a street food and drinks fair, free children’s rides, face painting, the chance to meet Santa and the Black Country Radio roadshow hosting proceedings.

Car parking on the day will be free at council car parks and entertainment will be on from 9am right up to the big switch-on in Somers Square at 5pm. Councillor Ian Kettle, cabinet member for planning and economic development, said:

“We’ve got a fun-packed family day planned to celebrate the switching on of the Christmas lights in Halesowen, which will formally mark the start of the festive season in the town. We would urge people to come along for a great day out.”

Stevi, aged 37, reached the final of the live shows for X Factor in 2014 after being given a wildcard by Cheryl Tweedy. He proved popular with his energetic performances and dance routines and eventually finished sixth in the eleventh series of the hit ITV show.

While on the show, the singer became romantically involved with fellow X Factor contestant Chloe Jasmine and the pair appeared as a couple on Celebrity Big Brother in 2015, reaching the final and finishing fifth. 

Dave took part in this year’s Invictus Games, held in Toronto, Canada, in September. Created by Prince Harry, the Games are a multi-sport event in which wounded, injured or sick armed service personnel and associated veterans take part in sports including wheelchair basketball, sitting volleyball and indoor rowing. Dave brought home two medals, taking gold in the discus and bronze in the shot put.

The hero soldier joined the Army in 2008 and served in the Scots Guards. But during a tour of Afghanistan in 2010, he stepped on an improvised explosive device and suffered severe injury, losing both legs and his right arm.

Stevi and Dave will be assisted in switch-on duties by the winner of a competition run by Dudley Council on its Facebook page to be announced later this week.

The local authority has snapped elves Eric and Erica at a number of locations around Halesowen, and asked people to comment on social media stating where they think the pair are.


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