X Factor star Andrea Faustini lit up Sunderland as he did the honour of turning the city’s Christmas lights on.
The Italian singer, who starred in 2014’s series of the talent show, performed four tracks in Keel Square before doing the big switch-on alongside Mayor Barry Curran.
Hundreds of families turned out to see the festive lights come alive and were rewarded with warmer weather following heavy rainfall earlier in the day.
Andrea, 21 and from Rome, told the Echo: “I’m really enjoying things since my time on the X Factor.
“I’ve been doing a lot of different stuff and was in the studio recently to record my new album.
“Doing the X Factor live tour was amazing as well. I’m having the time of my life right now.”
I’m having the time of my life right now.Andrea Faustini
The performer added that he was especially excited to do the switch-on as he is such a fan of the festive season.
“I’m so feeling the Christmas spirit right now,” added the singer, who released his first album, Kelly, in the summer.
“I’m listening to Mariah Carey’s Christmas song every day and I’m buying loads of festive things too, many of which I don’t even need!”
Councillor Curran, who joined Andrea on stage alongside Sun FM presenters Simon Grundy and Danielle Moore, said: “It’s great to have so many people turn out for such an event.
“The younger people will have been excited to see Andrea, who has performed really well. I hope his new single gets to Number One.
“We did another lights switch-on in Concord last night and the place had a great atmosphere and it’s the same here.”
Following the switch-on, a 10-minute firework display which wowed the crowds lit up the Wearside skies.